Awango: Improving access to renewable energy for low income communities in Uganda
The Total Access to Solar project was launched in Uganda in 2013 as a social business by Total group under the brand ‘AWANGO by Total’. It aims to address the lighting needs of off-grid populations in rural areas by making safe, affordable, durable, and environmentally sustainable lighting available to the masses.
Improving access to renewable energy for economic development
In Uganda, 88% of the population is not connected to the public electricity grid and yet lack of access to energy is a major obstacle to development. To enable off-grid, low-income communities to meet some of their most basic everyday needs, Total in Uganda introduced Awango by Total to offer affordable, reliable solar lighting and phone charging solutions. “I was using a pressure lamp, which was costly in terms of paraffin and maintenance and when Awango solar lamps were introduced to us, I decided to try using it to catch fish instead of the pressure lamp. Awango solar lamps proved to be more cost effective in that you don’t need paraffin but just sunshine to charge the solar lamps”, explained Sam, a commercial fisherman in Dei fishing village in Panyimur sub county, Nebbi district. To date, nearly 80,000 lamps have been distributed in Uganda.
Effective distribution network
Through a tight-knit distribution network of retail stations, resellers, savings and credit co-operatives (SACCOs), non-government organisations, community-based organisations (CBOs), microfinance institutions, village saving loan associations (VSLAs) and women’s groups, Awango by Total has been able to reach its customers that include rural farmers, fishermen, students, SACCO members and other members of off-grid low-income Ugandan communities. Through this distribution network, economic activity in the country has been upheld and income levels boosted with savings made from the use of Awango instead of other more expensive forms of energy.
Accumulated benefits for communities using Awango by Total
Through Awango by Total, Communities have benefited from safe, affordable, durable, accessible and environmentally sustainable energy. Awango has brightened local community life for longer and helped them to avoid hazardous energy sources such as candles. It has also contributed to environmental protection through the reduction in the use of kerosene lamps locally referred to as ‘tadooba’.