Vitalite Solar System brightens up farmers' lives
By Pamela Hamasaka, Corporate Affairs Manager
Dyness Hamangaba, aged 48, proudly flicks a switch connected to a small blue box mounted on the wall of her
Three bulbs immediately light up her home in Sakanya village of Shibuyunji District located approximately 28 kilometres away from the main electricity grid.
"I never thought there would ever be a day when we would have such a simple and yet effective solar system to power our home. We have tried different solar products but they ended up being expensive because we had to keep buying batteries to keep them operational,” she noted.
Hamangaba’s household is among the 40 that have invested in the Solar Home System (SHS) sold through VITALITE’s super-agent Lister Lwiindi. Clients like Hamangaba are offered various affordable payment options to access the product, are trained on how to use the system and an after-sales services.
Instead of making a cash payment of K1,750 farmers have an option of signing onto a daily pay-as-you-go payment plan for K5 and K3 over a period of 18 and 24 months, respectively.
The system, comprising a battery box, two lamps, a radio and portable lamp, is activated once a K200 down payment is made and comes with an initial free seven days of power.
“I signed up for a two year repayment period at a rate of K3 per day but prefer to make an advance payment of up to K100 to last me over three months. It is actually the length of the repayment period that gives me the confidence that it is a durable product,” she observed.
Like Hamangaba, many other farmers attest that the SHS is a worthy investment for the whole family. 67 year old Ellias Mweetwa managed to purchase two sets of the SHS to power his compound under a K3 and K5 payment plan.
“When fully charged, the system stores enough power to last the whole night to allow school going children to study at night, and to charge phones for customers at a K2.50,” he said.
Musika has supported VITALITE to develop a strong network of agents and support staff in rural areas of Central and Southern Province and recently initiated an investment to support the company’s expansion to the underserved markets of Northern Zambia.
Between 2012 and 2016, over 34,000 Zambians living in the rural areas accessed markets which had environmentally beneficial impacts through interventions implemented by Musika in partnership with 15 private sector clients.