LiChi Community Solutions
LCS Ltd was formed in November 2014 and had two sponsored projects; one by IEEE Smart Village through Kilowatts for Humanity in Filibaba, Chingola and the other by IEEE Smart Village itself in Shikwakala, Lukulu. The projects were implemented in September and November 2015, respectively. The two projects have impacted more than 500 people by providing lighting in their homes for children to read in the night and for over 50 people to have access to media outlets, including radio and television. LCS Ltd has so far employed two workers from Filibaba and sponsored a grade-10 pupil at Ipafu secondary school. Above all, the business is making a positive impact to people’s livelihoods.
Apart from providing lighting, over 8 phones are charged everyday at the energy kiosk in Filibaba, at a rate of 2 ZMK (0.20 USD) per phone. The kiosk also supplies household groceries, which provides easier access to supplies, eliminating the need for people to travel over 23 km to buy groceries.
Likonge Makai Mulenga, founder of LiChi’s Community Solutions LTD, grew up in Zambia and obtained an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering, specializing in power systems engineering. Whilst working for Konkola Copper Mines PLC (KCM), the biggest copper producer in Zambia, Likonge obtained a NORADs scholarship in 2012 to enroll in a Masters Program in Planning and Operations of Energy Systems (MPPOES). Through the program, she studied for 1 year and 6 months at Kathmandu University Nepal and 6 months at NTNU, Norway. She finished her MS in Energy Systems from Kathmandu University, Nepal. Her research interests include effective and affordable energy to improve energy efficiency for cooking and lighting in Zambia. Her research enabled her to write a paper that was accepted at the Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC 2013) and was able to present the paper at the conference in October, 2013 where she was recognized both as member of the SIGHT Steering Committee and valued for her presentation at the IEEE GHTC 2013. Her interests now include the most cost effective methods of making technology accessible to the “forgotten billion” of the world. She is back to KCM as Head of Energy Management for the Konkola Integrated Business Unit and is currently a member of the following groups: Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), Engineers Institute of Zambia (EIZ), Energy Regulation Board (ERB), Women in Power (WiP), LiChi’s Community Solutions (LCS Ltd), and RenPEACE.
The impacts from the Filibaba project expansion will lead to a multitude of benefits, including:
- Access to 35,040 kWh/year in addition to the 15,768 kWh of clean, renewable energy per year.
- Electrification of a community center serving approximately 50 students and providing evening programming, which includes extended time for children to read and study.
- Creation of revenue for LCS Ltd to reinvest into the same community.
- Increase in safety lighting at the energy kiosk, and security lighting from the Solar Home Lighting Kits (SHLK) and the Portable Battery Kits (PBKs).
- Reduction of the use of expensive, low-quality candles and “traditional lamps” with the intention of providing safe and clean lighting for homes.
- Training as part of the installation, which will educate the community on topics such as electrical safety, system operation and maintenance, and environmental concerns and impacts.
Education: Specifically, education has improved from the Filibaba kiosk, SHLK, and PBKs because they have helped to reduce illiteracy levels by promoting a reading culture in the advent of accessible lighting. In doing so, the project has helped by:
- Improving the education sector by upgrading the local community school to a primary school.
- Equipping communities with the necessary knowledge and skills to enable them to participate in planning, implementing, managing, and evaluating development programs.
Sanitation: Sanitation has improved with the introduction of energy to the community because it has promoted a healthy, clean and sustainable environment by:
- Providing access to adequate, clean water for safe consumption and minimizing distance walked to city for water by installing a solar pump.
- Promoting a sustainable, pollution-free environment by sensitizing community on environmental conservation and pollution.
Access to Clean Renewable Energy: Furthermore, the Filibaba project has helped to promote a pollution free environment by:
- Reducing environment pollution by minimizing CO2 and CO emissions.
- Providing an estimated 4,528 kWh of clean, renewable energy annually from the energy kiosk, SHLKs, and PBKs supplied to the communities in the hopes of impacting more than 5,000 people by the end of 2017.