Light a Village

Only 4% of the rural population in Malawi is connected to electricity.

This means that when the sun sets, the majority of the population in rural Malawi are living in total darkness. This is energy poverty.

Without access to electricity, families are forced to turn to dangerous alternatives such as homemade torches, candles and kerosene lamps. These options aren’t only expensive, but they are also imperilling health, impairing education, and emitting astonishingly high amounts of carbon into the atmosphere.

Traditional Authority Kasakula, Ntchisi District, Malawi, Chris Gagnon/SolarAid.


Our innovation, Light a Village, is working to change this, one village at a time. By providing each household with solar lighting, we are combatting energy poverty with clean, safe, and affordable light.

Light a Village is a pilot programme which aims to light up 500 homes, a whole village, in Ntchisi, Malawi. In order to achieve this, every home will receive a solar home system for free and pay for their energy usage on a pay as you go basis.

Having access to clean, safe, and affordable solar light in the evening will drastically improve the wellbeing of the community. Not only will the homes in Ntchisi have light, but children will be able to study more, household health will improve, families will save money and CO2 emissions will be averted from the atmosphere helping to mitigate climate change.

A solar light truly changes everything.

"When coming home, we will know that tonight, we will just switch on the light. There won’t be any more problems. We could prevent problems, like bug bites. If a snake is coming, we will be able to see it. If a person opens the door, we can see him."
Kesilina Chiwoza

Traditional Authority Kasakulatalks to Sunny Money staff in his office

Traditional Authority Kasakula calls for safer light sources

Traditional Authority (TA) Kasakula’s headquarters is located in the central district of Ntchisi, Malawi. The road leading to his headquarters is long, rough, and winding, difficult to travel in the pitch black. There are only three houses and two shops near his headquarters that have electricity. The rest of the village depends on alternative sources of light such as torches, candles and muyatso.

Stela's village is receiving solar

Stela Manuel lives with her 1-year-old daughter and husband in a rural village in central Malawi. As the sun sets in the village, it gets dark. The lack of electricity forces families like Stela’s to turn to other sources of light, such as candles, kerosene, or muyatso – burning straw.