Maasai celebrate electrification
Let it shine!

I've just returned to Massachusetts after a remarkable event-filled month in Tanzania with plenty of news to share.     


On January 20, we celebrated the official launch of our  research and development work creating solar-powered electrical grids for small Maasai settlements.

Bringing light to these communities so far off the national grid is an important step, and I am proud to share updates with you.  As always, thank you for your continuing interest and support.

With heartfelt appreciation,



Robert V. Lange  

Celebrating the first Maasai boma electrification
Maasai Stoves & Solar electrification  
We celebrated the historic launch on January 20, 2015 at the
Lobulu Boma, the second settlement we electrified as part of the pilot project. We had been planning to celebrate in Eluwai, the first village electrified, but threatening rain prompted the move. Avoiding mud from torrential rain up in the mountains, the celebration was a great success.
Maasai Boma Electrification 
Wires with tubing run underground


Guest of Honor Arusha Regional Commissioner Daudi Felix Ntibenda addressed the group,  emphasizing education for Maasai children. "They should all become professors and engineers," he said. He encouraged all to contact him directly with their ideas.  


Speeches from a host of dignitaries inspired the crowd,  including words from Rogness Swai from USAID Power Africa;  Dr. Gordon Nekunkayo, Head of the Board of ADRA; and Mr. Lobulu,Head of the Lobulu Boma.   


Maasai Stoves & Solar Project 
The new corral lights keep hyenas away from the livestock 

 Hundreds participated in the event which included a reception with music and dance and a tour of the entire system, including the electrical building housing the computer and refrigerator.  


Maasai all over the region have become enthusiastic about the electrification pilot, and the possibility of the project coming to their own communities.  



Using solar-powered electrical grids in Maasai bomas
Maasai bomas are small settlements led by men, perhaps a few brothers together. Each wife has a separate home that they share with their children.



Up to now, Maasai Stoves & Solar sold single-home solar systems to households that purchased our stove. But we realized that if we could electrify a whole boma we would not only bring electrical service to all 15 or 20 homes, but would have additional power for shared appliances. This would make an enormous difference to the people living there. Why not have a computer and a refrigerator for them all to share?
Bob Lange and refrigerator

With funds from Power Africa, a program of USAID, we are doing it!   It is very exciting to be with the women and men, working together to bury all the wires running from the electrical center to all the homes.  


Of course, we require all homes have a smoke-removing stove. The people understand immediately.   We are not going to link up smoky unhealthy homes in an electrical grid.   All together, the homes can be clean, healthy, and well-lit.



Computer literacy for the community

Each boma needs a person to manage the computer and
Elizabeth Moringe, Computer Teacher
teach all the people how to use it. With a special modem from a phone company, even a computer way out in the bush can be on the internet. It is an especially valuable educational resource for the boma's children.


Elizabeth Moringe is training to be the computer guru In
Lobulu boma. The young wife of a boma leader, she is thrilled to be able to study again.  It is a way to return to the spirit of her time at Maasai Girl's, School in Monduli, where she completed four years of secondary school before her marriage. Even young Maasai girls leave school when they get married. 


" I always wanted to learn more about using a computer. We had some at the computer lab at school, but usually had no teacher,"  says Elizabeth. Elizabeth is receiving thirty hours of one-on-one computer training from an internet café owner in Mto wa Mbu via the Maasai Stoves & Solar Project. Elizabeth's husband is helping her get to the classes.  




Next steps in boma electrification
Maasai Stoves & Solar Project

This pilot research includes ten bomas, but there are thousands of bomas in Monduli district.  Questions of financing, contribution levels of Maasai men, and geographical differences are all part of the research process.

On behalf of USAID, videojournalist Morgana Wingard  is documenting the successful work at Lobulu Boma and the impact of the grid on women's lives. Thank you to Jessie Bryson who shared her USAID photos in this enews. We look forward to sharing this unfolding story with you. View our website for updates.   
You help to make all this possible
Thank you again for your generous response to the Annual Appeal. With your help, and the participation of the Seventh Day Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) we are starting the installation of stoves in the villages of Mungere, Mbuyuni, and Meserani. You are a very important part of this work.  Thank you.


For a better life for the rural world, and a cleaner environment for all

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International Collaborative, Maasai Stoves & Solar Project
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