In Cameroon, a country of more than 22 million in central Africa on the Gulf of Guinea, IEEE Smart Village worked with local partners to build and power up a modular, easy-to-install PV solar-based community charging station, the SunBlazer II.

Part of the TBF team standing around the SunBlazer wearing their IEEE Smart Village t-shirts. Date: 2015. Location: Cameroon. Photo by: Rita Hogan Almeida.
TBF team standing around the SunBlazer wearing Smart Village T-shirts. Date: 2015. Location: Cameroon. Photo : Rita Hogan Almeida.

“I am so grateful with the new lighting system … I very much appreciate the quality of the light,” said Mr. Novester, a secondary-school teacher in Sabongari, a small farming village. The IEEE Smart Village solution “has enabled us to cook, read our Bible and hold our family devotions at night without worrying about smoke” from kerosene lamps.

“I have used the battery box for five months now, and it has been very helpful to me. Before now, I used to have a lot of discomfort working under the light of the kerosene lamp. I am now able to work at home late into the night. Using the battery box is something to encourage. I would advise people to have at least one battery box in their home; this way, they can have light any time they need it. I love it so much that I have introduced my neighbors and colleagues to it, and they, too, are satisfied with its output.” — Mr. Aloysius, High-School Principal

“My wife and I have three children. We had been suffering a lot, trying to get energy from different sources, which came with lots of difficulties. I had bought a standby generator for my family. At first, it was functioning well, but three months later the machine began to have frequent breakdowns. Repairing it almost every week made me spend a lot of money beside the additional cost of fuelling it. (The IEEE Smart Village solution) has so many advantages.” — Mr. Rolland, Shopkeeper

“At first, I used a kerosene lamp to light my bar. (The IEEE Smart Village solution) has really improved my business. The bright light from the battery box is a major attraction to my customers;, plus, the music from my sound box that is powered by the battery box is even more exciting to the customers.” — Mr. Joseph, Beverage Vendor

Click here to view a slideshow of the team building the SunBlazer.