It’s Time to Delete Guinea-Bissau’s Tin Can Kerosene Lamps

It’s Time to Delete Guinea-Bissau’s Tin Can Kerosene Lamps

It’s Time to Delete Guinea-Bissau’s Tin Can Kerosene Lamps

By / Energy / Tuesday, 17 July 2018 00:12

When the speed boat roars to a stop in the pristine, smooth beaches of Guinea-Bissau’s Bijagós Islands, you will have arrived at a place that will delete all the stress in you. As you step into the warm, clear water, you will hear a splash as a fish you cannot see feels from the intrusive humdrum of arriving and departing humans.

The island that you have just arrived in is one of 88 islands that make up the breathtaking Bijagós archipelago off the coast of Guinea-Bissau. So ecologically rich are these islands that they have collectively been designated as UNESCO Boloma Bijagós Biosphere Reserve.

One of these ecological riches is the green sea turtle. As you sail around the archipelago, you will not miss to see these beautiful turtles since there are over ten thousand of them laying eggs in the islands.

Unfortunately, beneath Guinea-Bissau’s utter beauty lies a literal darkness.

Only 21 percent of Guinea-Bissau’s people have access to electricity. Think about that. Only one in five people in this dazzling west African country have access to electricity. So what happens to the rest? Candles, kerosene lanterns, tin can kerosene lamps? They probably light up their homes with one of these. But what do they use to power electrical appliances like, radios, TVs and fridges? Most don’t even have such appliances and don’t lose sleep over this lack. They are more preoccupied over weightier matters like food and dwindling harvests.

Talking about food, 98 percent of people in Guinea Bissau, which is pretty much almost everyone, rely on traditional biomass for cooking. That means that if charcoal and firewood were to suddenly disappear from the country tomorrow, 98 percent of people in Guinea-Bissau wouldn’t be able to cook their food.

This is why Guinea-Bissau and all the other 53 African countries need to turn the trickle of renewable energy in their respective countries into a flood.

Author

DJ Bwakali

DJ Bwakali

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