In the country of Benin, in West Africa, only 20% of the population has access toelectricity and in rural areas the percentage is even lower. For families, the only possible alternative is to use al kerosene, expensive, dangerous and highly harmful.
The climatic conditions of these localities do not help at all, in the northern part of the country there is only one rainy season, this means that farmers can focus on the harvest for a limited period of the year due to the lack of adequate water supply for the irrigation of crops.
The life of the inhabitants of Europe is made up of switches, one to operate the coffee machine in the morning, one for the TV, for the computer, for the light, to start the car, not to mention the taps ... the quality of life of the inhabitants of Benin, for us Europeans, it is even difficult to imagine.
Fortunately, there are non-profit organizations that with a series of campaigns embrace different causes and among this there is also that of Benin with the non-profit Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF). The organization is testing an innovative solution, Solar Market Garden technology. The program launched by SELF aims to ensure water for thecrop irrigation and electricity to eliminate kerosene-based systems.
To carry out the project, SELF collaborated with ADESCA, a local NGO working for economic, social and cultural development in the northern district of Kalale. In this neighborhood, the partnership between ADESCA and SELF has managed to install solar panels connected to a pump capable of extracting water from a rather deep well. The water, thus extracted, is sent to a tank with a capacity of 5,547 gallons (20997.6 L.), the tank is connected in turn to a system of drip irrigation to efficiently use thewater of the well.
To ensure greater social development, SELF and ADESCA have started their campaigns in agricultural cooperatives managed by groups of women. These communities can count on a reliable water source so they can cultivate even during the dry seasons.