She Shapes Solar tells the stories of 10 women who are involved in rolling solar energy out across Kenya. From; Judith Ahenda whose thriving business is providing access to lighting for isolated villages in Western Kenya, to “Radio Queen” Caroline Mutoko, advocating for privileged Kenyans to leave a sustainable legacy, to engineer Teddy Nalubega, who is training the next generation of female solar technicians, these individuals all show the important role women must play in order to sustainably electrify Kenya. We invite you to hear their stories, learn about the potential of solar energy and find out how more women can get involved.
Faith Odongo – Deputy Director of Renewable Energy at the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy
Faith has worked in Kenya’s Ministry of Energy for over 28 years. Here she gives an overview of renewable energy in Kenya and explains why it is so important to get more women involved in the sector.
Currently, in Kenya, about only 50% of the people have access to electricity. In remote rural areas, particularly in the thinly populated north of the country, electrification rates can drop as low as 2 percent. Improving the access to modern energy services in rural areas remains a major development priority. Children without access to electricity face barriers in their education and limited or unreliable electricity affects business and the larger economy. Dirty energy is also a health issue. Half of Kenyans use kerosene to light their homes, the fumes cause health issues, the quality of light is poor, and the fuel is a fire hazard which can have catastrophic consequences.
Solar energy also offers new opportunities to urban Kenyans who face high power costs and frequent power outages in their homes, offices and factories. Clean, green solar energy offers an opportunity for Kenya to develop and grow its economy whilst protecting its environment. It is a fast growing industry providing jobs and business opportunities.
The general trend in the energy sector is that women are less engaged in solar policy, generation, distribution and commercial services. Considering women make up over half of the population of Kenya ensuring that women have access to solar energy will support a future for sustainable energy in the country.