Language and Education Barriers in Community Engagement

The SVRG approach is grounded in community engagement and human centred design, to ensure the systems we install bring real, lasting benefit. Unfortunately, due to language barriers, we are unable to run focus groups ourselves, but rely on our in-country partners to assist with translation, or with running the entire group following training. Our translators …

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Off-grid multi-energy reporting system and AI load controller

SVRG are carrying out this 3 month project with funding from InnovateUK, the UK’s Innovation Agency. Most of our community development solutions have been powered by clean offgrid solar electricity. Monitoring and controlling these systems can be challenging, as every equipment manufacturer tends to have their own bespoke monitoring and data collection system. This presents …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/off-grid-multi-energy-reporting-system-and-ai-load-controller/

Community Remote Healthcare Background and Priorities Report – Simanjiro, Tanzania

This report outlines the health needs and priorities of remote Maasai communities in Northern Tanzania, specifically in the Simanjiro region where our project partners, OMASI are based. The research was done as part of an Innovate Funded Project, exploring how video consultations and batched medicine delivery could help provide quality access to healthcare for remote, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/community-remote-healthcare-background-and-priorities-report-simanjiro-tanzania/

Nov/Dec 2020 Trip Video – Uganda

A video showing some highlights from our most recent trip to Uganda, aiming to give you a flavour of our everyday work out on the field.

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/nov-dec-2021-trip-video-uganda/

Solar-powered Milling Machine Evaluation

This report describes the results of tests conducted to assess the viability of an electric 3-phase 2.2kW Agsol hammer mill, imported from Kenya, for use in rural Maasai communities in Simanjiro, Tanzania. The objectives of the tests were to assess the viability of powering the mill from offgrid (solar) energy technology, and (for different mill …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/solar-milling-machine-evaluation/

A Solar powered Electric Milling Machine

Milling machine

Many of the communities we work with are agricultural, with maize flour contributing to an integral part of their diet. In the rural Maasai Tanzanian communities we work with, villagers often have to travel miles to neighbouring towns to access a diesel milling machine. Once there, they can face long waiting periods for sufficient customers …

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Bucket-mounted Solar Systems

Solar panel systems can be expensive and time-consuming to build. They can require specialist knowledge to set up, and be difficult to maintain. In rural communities, it can make a huge difference if a solar panel system can be made simply and at a lower cost. That’s why Smart Villages is always on the lookout …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/bucket-mounted-solar-systems/

Sept/Oct 2020 Trip Video – Tanzania

A short video showing highlights from our work visit to Tanzania in Sept/Oct 2020, giving a flavour of life on the field.

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/sept-oct-2020-trip-video-tanzania/

Grid extension in Tanzania

On our most recent trip to Tanzania, the number of half-fallen trees was quite noticeable. I thought nothing of it at first, even though several of them were lying across the roads. They could have been damaged in storms? That was until we realised that they were all under newly erected grid electricity lines. The …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/grid-extension-in-tanzania/

Rural Perceptions of Solar Power

Although our first solar installation in rural Tanzania has been having overwhelmingly positive reviews by the local community (powering the local water borehole, the first fridge in the local shop, and a small, efficient, electric milling-machine) we still have a hard time explaining the concept of solar power to some of our other target communities. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/rural-perceptions-of-solar-power/

An Intro to Rural Tanzanian Schools

Trying to get a good education in the rural communities with which we work in Tanzania is a real challenge. With classes of 80 students, insufficient chairs, classrooms and equipment, no electricity or running water, lack of funds to buy textbooks, and some parents encouraging their children to fail the pre-secondary exams so they don’t …

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Sustainable Offgrid EdTech for the Developing World

This project is funded by InnovateUK, the UK’s Innovation Agency. In the communities in which SVRG works, improving education is a high priority. Rural schools are often overcrowded, difficult to reach, and poorly resourced. Teachers are poorly paid, resulting in high rates of absenteeism among teachers at government schools. Existing educational material (for example free …

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Innovative Access to Healthcare for Impact in Remote Communities

Doctor and Nurse using tele-health system

STI4D, a sister company to SVRG, is carrying this project out jointly with our NGO partners in Tanzania, Orkonerei Maasai Social Initiatives (OMASI). This project is funded by InnovateUK, the UK’s Innovation Agency. Access to good healthcare is often challenging in the developing world, but this is greatly compounded for people living in remote off-grid …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/innovative-access-to-healthcare-for-impact-in-remote-communities/

A Wood-Mounted solar array for the Tanzania’s Maasai Radio Station

The community radio station: Orkonerei Radio Service (ORS FM), is the first Maasai pastoralists’ radio and was established to better communicate with the Maasai in Terrat, Simanjiro district. For many Maasai who don’t understand Kiswahili or Maasai, it’s their only source of information and important for education on health and agriculture. At their peak, ORS …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/a-wood-mounted-solar-array-for-the-tanzanias-maasai-radio-station/

Animals in the Electronics!

Three days before our recent flight to Tanzania, we’d received word that the inverter installed at our 50kW solar array in Ormoti had stopped working. The local electrician was sent in to take a look, and found a lizard had somehow managed to crawl inside and fried its brains. He removed the lizard, thinking it …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/animals-in-the-electronics/

First impressions at Ormoti, and a Maasai welcome

This post was written new SVRG team member Natasha, on her first day on site in the communities in Tanzania: We arrived at the Ormoti site, to scenes of Maasai men sat around, wrapped in their traditional cloth. The solar array installed by Bernie, Anna and Arran previously was way bigger than I’d imagined, with …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/first-impressions-at-ormoti-and-a-maasai-welcome/

The InnovateUK Energy Catalyst and working with SVRG partners

Recently, we were invited to give a presentation by our colleagues at the UK Low Carbon Energy for Development Network (UK LCEDN), as part of a webinar they were running on “Transforming Energy Access” for organisations who were interested in applying for the latest Innovate UK Energy Catalyst (round 8) competition, closing in September 2020. …

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What we mean by Community Engagement – the SVRG way of working.

Recently our project partners in Lesotho, the Energy Research Centre at the National University of Lesotho, asked us to contribute to a week-long Masters’ students event on rural energy access. Because of COVID, we were sadly unable to make it in person, but delivered the presentations via Webex instead. Here is the contribution from Dr …

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The SVRG approach – what are we all about?

Recently our project partners in Lesotho, the Energy Research Centre at the National University of Lesotho, asked us to contribute to a week-long Masters’ students event on rural energy access. Because of COVID, we were sadly unable to make it in person, but delivered the presentations via Webex instead. Here is the contribution from Dr …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/the-svrg-approach-what-are-we-all-about/

Demand-side Modelling in Somaliland with the Minigrid Game

SVRG is carrying this project out jointly with our partners non-profit Energy Action Partners in Malaysia, and innovative private sector minigrid developer Clear Sky Power in Somaliland. This project is funded by InnovateUK, the UK’s Innovation Agency. Worldwide, renewable energy minigrids hold great promise for providing electricity to over 1 billion people who are still …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/minigrid-demand-side-modelling-with-the-minigrid-game/

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