Cambodia has a population of over 15 million people, of which 20% live in urban areas where the electrification rate is 97%. The other 12 million, who live in remote rural areas electricity is something they can only dream of. Electricity is either very expensive or electricity infrastructure is not available at all since only 18% of the rural population has access to the electricity network.
Habitat for Humanity (HFH) is working in three rural villages in the provinces of Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Battambang in Cambodia to provide inhabitants with improved homes. These rural households, however, do not have access to the grid, wherefore Habitat for Humanity last January started the distributed a total of 541 WakaWaka Powers among vulnerable families that live below the poverty line. Since these families don’t earn much money they often can’t afford electricity. The WakaWaka, therefore, reduces their daily expenses on batteries.
All the recipients received a training on how to WakaWaka turns the power of the sun into energy and light and how they have to use their WakaWaka Power.
The WakaWakas are mainly used for studying, cooking and eating dinner. But also to feed their babies at night or to check on their animals. Sometimes they go out at night to catch some fish or frogs for their daily sustenance.
One of the recipients is Chhap Teing (53). He is a group leader in Sambour village, Siem Reap province. Here state electricity is not very common since it is a rural and remote area. Therefore, he is very happy with his WakaWaka!
“It is easy to use and really useful during the night time. With this, my son now can use it to study at night. Plus, I’ll be able to save money on battery costs, because at my house there is no electricity, and we always pay for the battery”.
In Battambang, another area where Habitat for Humanity distributed WakaWakas, the recipients were local NGO partners. The aim of HFH’s project is to improve housing solutions, livelihoods, and dignity of the people working at these NGOs.
Reaseykanika, project officer at HFH Cambodia explained;
“I tried the WakaWaka when I first saw the product and I realized it’s a great product. It’s small, light and the battery lasts very long. I’m glad that our partners can use this product at home and that it will help them in their daily lives”.
Chea Kong (36) and her husband and children also received support from Habitat for Humanity. She is living in PreyKla village, Kandal province where the majority of the community are farmers.
“I'm very happy to receive this support from Habitat for Humanity. With the light from this solar lamp, I can use it when I cook in the evening and my kids can share the light to study at night time as well. It's even better as we can use this to go to the toilet or check on our chicken and ducks when it is already dark. I can also use it to charge my small phone,".
We would like to thank Habitat for Humanity for Sharing the Sun in Cambodia and enabling people to improve their lives with the light of the sun.