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  • Writer's pictureHenry

Empowering Dengeza

Updated: Mar 22

This last year, Kilowatts for Humanity (KWH) has wrapped a new kiosk installation in Dengeza. This installation followed up successful kiosk installations in Cheeba and Kanchomba with long-time partner Caritas Monze. The kiosks in Kanchomba and Cheeba have made massive impacts on the communities. Both KWH and Caritas Monze expect the same will be the case in Dengeza. Not only have these kiosks provided sustainable electricity through solar panels, they have also given each community a location where people can come together.


“It's kind of like a miniature strip mall,” said Kirk MacLearnsberry, a longtime volunteer with KWH, and Dengeza installation project manager. “There are multiple storefronts, all run by the community co-op, that provide opportunities for multiple businesses. For example, there's a welding shop, a barbershop salon, a chicken incubation room, and then a grocery store.”

“We work with an  in-country solar installer, it makes sense to pay locals to install it in their community.” said volunteer Julia White, a graduate student at the University of Washington in Material Science & Engineering. Dengeza was Julia’s first installation with KWH, so the experience was brand new to her, “[KWH is] much more involved longer term. They build up more slowly, and then we stay connected throughout. This was my first time working with an organization like that which was really really fantastic.”



In Kanchomba, Father Ackim Musimukoo, Director of Caritas Monze, describes how the project has had a positive influence on the younger folk. “The youth are managing the kiosk,” says Father Musimukoo. “So instead of hanging around doing God knows whatever it is, they spend the time now with the kiosk, in the garden, being productive."

 

In Cheeba, people are involved in the fishing business. Their kiosk has been able to power refrigerators to store fish in bulk and sell the fresh fish for a good price.

 

In Dengeza, people have been hired to work at the grocery store and at the workshop. The community co-op gains all the proceeds from the kiosk, which enables it to cultivate its own

economy.

 



Caritas Monze is already looking to what the future can bring. "How can we reach out to more communities? How sustainable is this going to be?” asks Father Musimukoo. “Even if tomorrow there is a recession in the economy, as an organization, we are not going to stop."

 

Fikani Phiri, Water Development Assistant for Caritas Monze, is optimistic about expanding its partnership with KWH and with other organizations. "We know what KWH is about, the mission, we understand it very well,” says Phiri. “Now, how can we bring on board other associations like KWH that can partner with KWH and Caritas Monze to further improve the lives of the people in our communities.”

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