Solar Electricity in Support of Rama Community Development

The project aims to support the Rama indigenous peoples to achieve their development objectives in a sustainable and holistic way in Rama Maneland, an extension of Rama Cay, the primary residence of the Rama peoples.

Project objectives and beneficiaries

The general objective of the project is to reduce energy poverty and contribute towards work already underway in Rama Maneland by the communal government, regional authorities, Friends in Action, and blueEnergy to improve the sustainable development and living conditions of the indigenous communities residing in the peri-urban zones of Bluefields through the use and implementation of sustainable solar energy solutions and protection of natural resources. Through the introduction of modern and renewable energies, blueEnergy seeks to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of the indigenous peoples by meeting their electricity needs.

The operational results of the project would include the installation of a solar micro-grid to provide electricity to communal areas in Rama Maneland as well as 19 family homes.

878 people will benefit directly from the mini solar network and the solar water pumping system:

  • 785 inhabitants of Rama Cay will benefit from the electrified communal areas and the solar water pumping system.
  • 93 inhabitants of Rama Maneland will benefit from the lighting of communal areas and the electrification of their houses.

43 people will benefit directly from capacity building:

  • 38 people from the 19 families of Rama Maneland will be educated on energy use and efficiency, as well as members of the Rama Cay municipality.
  • 5 technicians from the community of Rama Maneland will be trained to maintain, operate, and service the solar mini-grid.

2,188 people in the region will indirectly benefit from the solar microgrid and the associated development plan throughout the Rama Kriol territory.

Project phases and outcomes

This project will be implemented in 3 stages over the course of 3 years, and started in mid-2021 with stage 1.

In the preliminary stages of the project, blueEnergy conducted preliminary technical and socio-organizational diagnostics, community meetings and focus groups, and interviews with members of the Rama Cay and Rama Maneland municipalities, the FIA administration, and ENEL, the national electricity distribution company. This first phase is ongoing and consists of further assessments, feasibility studies, design and community planning. The importance of this preliminary work cannot be understated, as a big part of the strength of the project lies in its inclusion of participatory community planning, awareness-raising, and local capacity building.

Stage 2 (year 2) will include the implementation of the technical solution and capacity building, while stage 3 (year 3) will be focused on production and revenue generation. Ultimately, blueEnergy in collaboration with the Rama people hope to achieve 4 key outcomes:

Outcome 1: Completed baseline and needs-assessment studies and surveys.

Outcome 2: Community training to ensure ownership of the project and set criteria for sustainability of the system.

Outcome 3: Access to electricity in communal facilities and 19 homes in Rama Mainland through the installation of a solar microgrid.

Outcome 4: Strengthened organizational and financial skills to develop productive and income-generating activities in Rama Maneland Community.

 

About blueEnergy

blueEnergy is an international nonprofit organization that uses an award-winning community development model to implement innovative technical solutions that empower vulnerable communities to lead their own development. Since its founding in 2004, blueEnergy`s projects have improved the living conditions, hygiene and health of 170,000+ people, and the organization seeks to empower healthy families and resilient communities by unlocking access to renewable energy, safe water, sanitation, hygiene, and sustainable food security in the face of a changing climate.

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