$1,5m spent on candles yearly
Walter Mswazie recently in Bikita
Zimbabwe’s rural families spend at least $1,5 million on candles per year as many people have limited access to renewable energy, an official has said.
Addressing stakeholders during a launch of Zonful Power Energy products at a lodge in Bikita recently, Zonful chief executive, Engineer William Ponela, said there was a huge gap between those who had access to clean renewable energy and people with no access at all.
He said through Zonful’s partnership efforts, all rural people should be connected to solar energy in line with the aspirations of the country as enunciated by President Mnangagwa in his 2030 vision.
Eng Ponela said the introduction of solar energy in rural areas will also improve per capita levels and contribute immensely to the provinces’ Gross Domestic Product.
“Zonful Power Energy are the movers when it comes to improving rural people’s access to clean renewable energy.
“Research has revealed that people living in rural areas are spending at least $1,5 million on buying candles to provide lighting every year. This money can be used to pay for the installation of solar systems in homes and guarantee families reliable source of energy for years to come,” said Eng Ponela.
He said disposable incomes for rural people will improve once they start using solar as they can run businesses such as barber shops and hair salons.
Eng Ponela said the continued use of candles was not ideal for people’s eye sight.
A study by University of South Florida in the United States of America has also revealed that candles made up of paraffin wax emit low levels of harmful benzene even when they are not lit.
Speaking at the same occasion Environmental Management Agency (EMA) provincial education officer Mr Brain Makani hailed Zonful Power Energy for promoting the use of solar as it helps to reduce the cutting down of trees.
“Solar energy protects the environment as well as controlling global warming and climate change. We appeal to the company to spread the programme to other districts in Masvingo to reduce deforestation,” said Mr Makani.