This Initiative is a Private Sector Energised India-US-Africa Sustainable Initiative

Ram Mohan is the Managing Director and Founder of ComAfrique and the initiatior of the ComAfrique Initiative. He is also the Honorary Consul General of India in The Gambia.

Dr Kushant Uppal, founder & CEO of InteliZon is a US Citizen, Educated at the Indian Institute of Technology ( Madras) in Chennai, India and thereafter at the University of Southern California - where he settled down for 20 years returning to India to create InteliZon and Intelligent solutions for Rural Lighting.

How ONE Dalasi ( 0.04US$) per Day CAN give you Light for Life

Read through our Blog pages to find out more......

Developing Sustainability in Villages - A Unique Initiative

Sustainability with Village participation ... driven by Entrepreneurship and Partnership. We can change the world we live in - in our own small way.

Governments should generate and bring light to all corners of the Country. Many development agencies insist that off-grid solar lights should be paid for and not given free. However Our UNIQUE Initiative strives to get the Private Sector / NGOs / or Governments to provide the instruments of Light to remote Villagers and thereafter let the Villagers sustain it by paying for the usage of light. We believe that just selling Solar Lights to Villagers is not the right way. If you want to make it truly sustainable, deliver the means to them and let them pay to sustain it. This is a better form of development.

How does providing sustainable light enhance Food Security?

Villagers who live in darkness, use daylight for income generation. With Light, they are able to enhance their incomes or productivity at night. Children are able to study at night and Education is the driving force behind development. Thus Light is the source of all development.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Getting WATER from SOLAR ZonLights

The ComAfrique-InteliZon Initiative now shows the Village of Sitanunku how they can have their own self-financed SOLAR Water Pump and Bore Hole.

It all started when Mr Marcel Hendricks took us out to showcase his new ECO Hotel project - On The Gambia River at the famous DOG Island - the village of Sitanunku.  A Village that Mr Demba, a resident and co-ordinator of Marcels plans, says has given The Gambia many administrators and thus is a Village quite capable of understanding a developmental effort and sustaining it.

However, when we explained t them that our Initiative was for basic lighting, they requested that the Sponsor kindly address their more urgent needs - WATER.  The Villagers suggested that they had to walk miles to get water as they did not have a bore hole.  He suggested that once they had WATER with a SOLAR Pump and Bore Hole, they could address the problem of Light for the 80 odd families of SITANUNKU. They had put us in a dilemma since ZonLights and ZonHomes operate on small panels and Li-ion batteries that are not capable of pumping water!!! 

We then came up with an Ingenious Innovative add on to our INITIATIVE

Under the ComAfrique-InteliZon Initiative, each family would pay ONE Dalasi (0,04$) per day per Light for a Basic Light
However those requesting the Mobile Phone Charging facility of the ZonLight II would have to agree to pay 1.5 Dalasis (0.06$)
And those wanting the Larger ZonHome would have to pay 3 Dalasis ( 0.12 $) 
They readily Agreed as all these amounts were significantly lower than their Candle requirements.

For 80 Lights with 20 Basic ZonLights, 30 ZonLight II and 30 ZonHomes - The Village Light Committee Daily earnings would be 155 Dalasis ( 6.40US$) and thus approx 4,650GMD per Month (180US$) or 2,200US$ per year. A part of this would be spend on Expansion at 10% Lights and Streetlights per year. A Apart would be spend on the Battery replacement every 18-24 months. They would still have a surplus amount in their Fund.

The Solar Pump and Bore Hole was budgeted at 100,000GMD by the Village.(Approx 3,700US$)

Thus if the Village Light Committee wanted, they could use their Village Light Fund to procure their WATER Solution themselves.

Now came in the Role of a partner Bank.
We agreed to rope in a partner bank who would help the Village of Sitanunku bank their ZonLight Fund and provide them with an interest.

One Precondition was that the Bank would - on the basis of a guarantee provided against the Village ZonLight Fund, Provide them with a Loan immediately to acquire their own Bore Hole with SOLAR Pump.

Thus in a very innovative way, They will now have light and their Lights will pay for their WATER too.

To make the Water sustainable, the Village Light Committee will impose a minor levy on the use of the Solar Water Pump and Water Consumption to pay for future expansion and maintenance. 


Banks and Corporates : Please help us take this model forward.

The ComAfrique - InteliZon Initiative TEAM
Innovative - Simple Rural Sustainable Solutions
*at the time of posting this blog, negotiations are underway with several banks to implement the village of Sitanunku. Our next post will be to inform you of the full implementation. Thanks. Ram Mohan