The community of Salamale, like most of rural Mali, has no access to mains electricity. School children have to use kerosene lamps for studying, which produces a deficient light for reading. This a major concern, as Mali has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world. Fundamental changes are needed at the village level if things are to be improved. Ultimately access to modern forms of energy is a necessary precursor for stimulating development and ensuring improved and diversifed livelihoods.
The project will involve the installation of a solar powered community charging station (CCS) in the community. This will provide lighting to an adjacent building, and act as a central hub for recharging electrical items. This will include mobile phones and radios, as well as LED lanterns which will be disseminated as a part of the project. These lanterns provide much improved lighting as compared to kerosene lamps. A small fee will be charge for using the CCS, raising community funds.
The community charging station will create jobs and opportunity for the people of Salamale to be self-sufficient, who are now bound by their limited resources and economic instability. It will raise funds for the community and allow future opportunities to spread solar power into the communty's health clinic and school. The CCS serves as the foundation project in a community and allows for community funds to be generated that support long term maintenance and contributions for other projects.