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Stories of change


- Let There Be Light: rural electrification -

Can you imagine living without electricity for a whole day? Well, people living in the Kapanga territory of the Democratic Republic of Congo never had access to electricity until the inauguration of ELKAP.

SOFIA wants to fight poverty in an environmentally sustainable way. These two elements come together in our project ELKAP – Electricity for Kapanga. Kapanga is a territory of more than 50,000 inhabitants in a remote and landlocked part of the southern province of Katanga in D. R. Congo. Through ELKAP, we are building a hydroelectric plant and a distribution network in partnership with the European Commission. The plant uses the Rushish waterfalls, 12 km away from Musumba, the main centre of the region.

Through the project, 400 social and commercial entities are now connected to the grid, among them schools, clinics, the municipality, small businesses, and private households. Thanks to ELKAP, a population of 50,000 beneficiaries who previously had no access to any form of regular energy supply can now avail themselves of stable and reliable electrical power, generated by renewable resources – the amount of CO2 emissions saved is around 1,000 tons per year.

Access to electricity led to lots of change. Hospitals and dispensaries can carry out their health services in an orderly and professional manner. As public health in the territory develops, maternal and infant mortality decreases. The availability of electricity in schools strengthens education by enabling the use of machinery and computers. The electricity provides additional income opportunities to the local population. Women and men benefit from the possibility of setting up small businesses.