Cyclone Ana: RECAPO rises above the storm to power up clients
Malawi is one of five southern African countries that recently bore the brunt of the Indian Ocean tropical storm Ana when it made landfall on January 24th, 2022 leaving a trail of destruction in its wake for entire communities in Madagascar, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Storm Ana was also responsible for massive infrastructure damage as well as power outages and business disruptions that has forced AECF investee companies like RECAPO, a social enterprise providing solar home systems to rural communities, via pay-as-you-go plans, to roll up their sleeves in a bid to rescue the situation.
With nearly 49,214 people displaced as a result of severe flooding, landslides and the destruction of public infrastructure, a state of emergency has been declared in the affected regions. A majority of RECAPO’s clients have been badly affected in the aftermath of tropical storm Ana, with their mobility curtailed and livelihoods threatened.
However, the company, is responding proactively to support the recovery efforts by halting collections from clients’ defaulted accounts. Instead, the company has gone a step further to power up their lives by providing a fortnight’s worth of electricity codes. Working hand in hand with their agents, RECAPO are structuring their continuity plan to support the recovery of their communities well beyond the two-week timeframe.
Solar home lighting and electrical systems for rural households in Malawi are a sustainable substitute for dangerous and polluting alternatives such as kerosene lamps. The AECF’s partnership with RECAPO translates into a substantial extension of work hours for small businesses, employment opportunities for system installers, sales and service staff as well as agents. While helping families reduce energy expenditures and securing disposable incomes, RECAPO’s eco-inclusive impacts also support educational achievements for families with school-going children by increasing study time with the solar home lighting solutions.
*Written by J. Akinyi