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Pay-as-you-go solar lighting systems slash household budgets

Leah Tallam charges her phone using the M-Kopa III home system in Eldama Ravine. Each battery-powered 8W system has three lights, a phone-charging facility and a chargeable radio. Georgina Goodwin/M-KOPA Solar
Leah Tallam charges her phone using the M-Kopa III home system in Eldama Ravine. Each battery-powered 8W system has three lights, a phone-charging facility and a chargeable radio. Georgina Goodwin/M-KOPA Solar  

Leah Tallam is excited that one of her household expenses will be switched off at the end of this month: lighting costs.

The 42-year-old milk vendor said she is just about to finish paying for her M-Kopa solar kit, and is looking forward to enjoying free lighting, phone charging and power for her radio.

Ms Tallam bought M-Kopa Solar in September last year. She borrowed from her chama to pay the Sh2,999 upfront fee and has been paying the year-long daily instalment of Sh40 via Safaricom’s M-Pesa mobile money platform.

“After I clear my balance, we will no longer have to worry about cash for lighting or buying paraffin,” said the mother of seven who lives in Kampi ya Moto, a rural township located about 28 kilometres northwest of Nakuru.

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