Residents of Ndego Sector, Kayonza district are celebrating after receiving the first set of benefits worth $50,000 from Akon Lighting Africa’ initiative.
The Lighting Africa initiative was launched in February 2014 by Aliaune Badara Thiam-‘Akon’- American-Senegalese RnB singer and producer in response to the African energy crisis.
The initiative through Solektra international, a company co-founded by Akon, installed a water pump at Lake Kibare, public solar lighting in Karambi and Isangano villages, and three moto ambulances.
They are part of the $100,000 funding expected to reach the community.
According to beneficiaries the equipment will enable residents around the lake shores to get clean water.
“Our children used to suffer from worms because of fetching shallow end water which is contaminated, but this has become history now,” said Innocent Shingiro a resident of one of the villages.
The facility was handed over by Germaine, Kamayirese – Minister of State in Charge of Energy, Water and Sanitation and Samba Bathily, the CEO of Selektra International on September 8.
“The choice of Rwanda was not an accident; Rwanda has visionary leadership with political will to improve the well-being of rural communities,” said Bathily.
“This region has a lot of sunshine which can be harvested to light; so that is why we have opted to implement the project in this area.”
Minister Kamayirese requested the community to put the facility to good use.
As part of this initiative, an irrigation system will also be installed in Rwinkwavu sector within the next three months to improve agriculture productivity in the food basket of the country.
Lighting Africa’s objective is to develop an innovative solar-powered solution to provide African villages with access to a clean and affordable source of electricity.
Akon has twice visited Rwanda where he pledged to give Rwandans priority in rolling the ‘Lighting Africa’ project.