The Kibera slum of Nairobi is home to a million people — and no electricity. Kibera residents use dangerous and heavily-polluting kerosene lamps to see at night, and despite their fervor for soccer, watching the World Cup has been entirely out of reach — regardless of how geographically close it may be. Until now — a Swiss not-for-profit, Solafrica, has provided a portable solar power station that runs a large donated TV where residents can gather to watch the event.

kibera, kenya, world cup, solafrica, greenpeace, solar power, africa, sustainable design, social design

The solar power station is relatively compact — it consists of solar panels and accumulators, and doesn’t require complex wiring. After the World Cup, it will be installed at a nearby school.

It’s not the first fantastically practical project Solafrica has undertaken in Kibera. Working with Greenpeace and the Kibera Community Youth Programme — who also participated in the World Cup project — the Swiss company has trained local youth to make simple solar-powered LED lamps that can replace kerosene lamps indoors or work as a flashlight. They’re easy to assemble and operate, increasing their chances of long-term use. The project provides jobs to Kibera Youth, and gives them a chance to do schoolwork after dark.

I’m tempted to get out a vuvuzela to toast this amazing work, but that would just be annoying.

+ Solafrica