Growing a Solar Solution in West Africa
Less than 25 percent of the population has access to electricity in the small West African country of Benin (map). In rural areas, the rate is even lower. Without an alternative, locals use kerosene for lighting needs, which contributes to health problems and is very costly.
Climate conditions create challenges for Benin as well. In the northern part of country, there is only one rainy season compared to two rainy seasons in the south. One rainy season means that farmers have fewer options to grow crops. In the north, farmers grow corn, millet, peanuts, sorghum, soy and little else. There is not enough rainfall for farmers to water their subsistence crops and to also have enough water for fruits