By Andrew Gwambe, Programme Manager at Total Life Care
Many people in Malawi were losing confidence in solar technology. Unscrupulous traders took advantage of consistent power outages in Malawi and sold poor quality solar products that easily broke and came with no warranty. There was so much proliferation of counterfeit solar products on the local market that people were cheated and left dissatisfied.
I accompanied Sam Ngoma, a Sales Manager from SunnyMoney, to a meeting in Chitala, Salima District where he was introducing new solar products and raising awareness about solar technology. One man, named Innocent Mwale, raised a concern,
“I bought a solar lamp, but I only used it for two months then it malfunctioned. From that time I hate solar technology.”
This is just one of the many sad stories of people who were disappointed and lost confidence in solar products.
“There are indeed solar suppliers who neither provide back-up services, nor warranties,” said Sam.
He continued explaining that those types of solar products do not conform to standards and are contributing to customer dissatisfaction.
The story is now different though as Sunnymoney is making a big difference in the solar enterprise. Solar lamps bought from Sunnymoney are given one to two years warranty, repaired when damaged, and replaced if it malfunctions and cannot be repaired.
The lost confidence in the solar products is slowly being restored. The pace set by SunnyMoney is a welcome move and should be emulated by other legitimate solar suppliers in the country.
Andrew Gwambe is now working with SunnyMoney Malawi as a Faith Based Partner to mobilise church groups to raise awareness in their communities and make solar lights accessible for families no one else can reach.