Welcome to Kenya’s “Slum Island,” a place where overcrowded shantytowns fend for themselves on a forgotten island where infrastructure is all but non-existent. A barren pinprick of land on the Kenya-Uganda border in Lake Victoria, Remba (Slum) Island’s isolated location from the mainland makes life even harder for its impoverished residents. Access:energy, the Nairobi-based off-grid energy specialist group, wants to change that with a micro grid that could give thousands of forgotten islanders access to cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable energy.
Slum Island supports over 5,000 fishermen who make their living catching Nile perch and tilapia, fish which are no longer available near the mainland. Disease runs rampant on the crowded island, a problem that is exacerbated by the area’s limited access to clean energy, water and health services. Currently, the island must import their energy, which is expensive and harmful to the environment, in the form of dirty kerosene, disposable batteries and unreliable petrol generators.
By harnessing the abundant solar and wind energy available on the equatorial island, Access:energy wants to make life better and more sustainable for the islanders. In a short film, they describe their plan to install a remotely-controlled micro grid to convert these renewable sources of energy into clean, life-changing electricity. Residents would then buy units of power with ubiquitous mobile phones so that they would only pay for the power that they use. Clean energy would be a win-win solution for both the environment and the Remba fishing community—but the proposal’s success hinges on the few crucial weeks left in their Indiegogo campaign.