The project plan recently submitted to Soroptimist International has been approved by President Ann Garvie to provide solar panels and a solar cookering facility to Musasa Primary School, located in the Rwenzori mountain range in rural Western Uganda. The project will be funded through President Ann Garvie’s 2013 – 2015, December 10th Appeals and Soroptimist International Federation Club initiatives, for ‘See Solar, Cook Solar’ and is currently being implemented.
Photographs: Musasa school children
Musasa Primary School is located in the Rwenzori mountain range in rural Western Uganda. There are a total of 740 at the school; the majority of pupils live in very simple mud and wattle houses on steep slopes. Unlike schools in the UK where children in primary school leave at age 11, the children and young people attending Musasa Primary School leave at about age 15, the age when British children would be sitting standard grades. Presently due to poor resources few pupils can achieve ‘division 1 grade’ which allows students to move to higher education. The senior teacher has indicated that normally only town or private school pupils can obtain grade 1 and that solar power should enable her pupils to have a better chance, as it will power laptops for the pupils to use.
The area has had no electricity until recent months when the Government has put a line down the valley, however the school is not connected nor is it likely to be in the foreseeable future. In the evenings families are dependent on the use of paraffin lamps. The provision of solar panels would enable lights and computers to be used for evening study at school; ensuring a safer environment.
Provision of solar cookers for the school will ensure that the local protected forests will not be depleted of wood for cooking fires, ensuring a more economical and environmentally sustainable alternative to the traditional methods. Currently fuel is being purchased by the school, using funds which could be used for educational activities. It is hoped that ‘Solar Musasa’ will provide
• Solar panels to power computers and lights
• Community solar cookers to service pupils and staff
SI Dunfermline has an existing relationship with the Musasa Primary School, having supported the school previously by providing 12 solar lights.This relationship will be further enhanced with direct support from President Ann’s appeal ‘See Solar, Cook Solar’.