Two women ‘solar engineers’ light up Cameroon village

Two female solar technicians — semi-illiterate grandmothers trained in solar electrification in India — are now installing panels to provide light in a remote village in Cameroon.

Munyengue Trouble, situated behind Mount Cameroon and not on the national electricity grid, is one of the first Cameroonian villages to access electricity from solar panels installed by the elderly rural women to tap sunlight and convert it into light.

Two women ‘solar engineers’ light up Cameroon village
© Flickr/Barefoot Photographers of Tilonia

Nelly Shella Yonga Tchaptchuet, coordinator of the Rural Women Development Center (RUWDEC), says the people of Munyengue Trouble spent a lot of resources on wood, kerosene, gas and fuel for generators before her outfit launched the solar project in February 2010.

“Through this project women are able to contribute to inclusive growth as semi-literate solar engineers.” Marie-Laure Mpeck Nyemeck, UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme

This project was part of an exhibition on best environment practices in Yaoundé, Cameroon, last month (19 December).

“Our organisation works with women and this project provided an opportunity to use women to create an impact in their community,” explains Tchaptchuet.

Under the RUWDEC solar project, Francesca Moki and Helen Ntuengue were trained in solar electrification at the Barefoot College in India through the Small Grants Programme of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in partnership with the college.

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