Tag: Uganda

Improving Food Security in Rural Uganda with Smart Agri-Centres

Access to electricity is very low in Uganda, with rural areas having electrification rates of around 18%. Around 70% of the working population work in agriculture. Post-harvest food loss compromises food security, farmers’ livelihoods and the environment. Cold storage can significantly reduce post-harvest losses, enabling farmers to keep produce for longer, aggregate together, and improve …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/solar-powered-cold-store-innovation-with-ecolife-foods/

Challenges of Working Through COVID

Every organisation has faced their difficulties continuing through COVID, with hospitality sector hit hardest. While some businesses have thrived (those offering digital services, or able to move all their work online) others have been unable to make the transition smoothly. Here at SVRG we are lucky to be able to work remotely while not travelling, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/challenges-of-working-through-covid/

Weather Reporting from Uganda

I’m proud to report that we have set up the first Weather Net WiFi connected weather station in the whole of Uganda, allowing us to monitor the solar irradiation at our Matugga solar site and compare it to the output power of the panels. This will help us with spotting problems and evaluating the effectiveness …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/weather-reporting-from-uganda/

FEC installation, team work and skills sharing

Today we finished installing the main electronics for one of our Farmers Enterprise Centres in Uganda. It was a mammoth 3 days of wiring, programming batteries/inverters and fixing electronics to walls, but we did it! And it wouldn’t have been possible without our fantastic local partners, Eco-Life and Kiima Foods. Throughout the 3 days, we …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/fec-installation-team-work-and-skills-sharing/

Unreliable Grid Power

Even though it looks like the main national grid might soon reach some of the villages we’ve been working with, both in Tanzania and Uganda, it is surprising how many of them are still keen for us to continue installing solar power despite the fact that this will be significantly more expensive for them. Having …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/unreliable-grid-power/

Primary School Messaging on Early Pregnancy

On one of our recent community visits to run focus groups in Central Uganda, we were surprised by some of the signs plastered around the primary school building, where the focus groups were held. The first signs outside the building were innocent, with messages like “DO NOT LITTER”, “ALWAYS BRUSH YOUR TEETH”, “WASH YOUR HANDS …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/primary-school-messaging-on-early-pregnancy/

Electricity is not a service…

… in the context of the Service Value Test (SVT), a key tool in the Smart Villages approach which engages community members to uncover their needs and aspirations for the future development of their village. It’s an important early step when we start working with a new community, and the quantitative and qualitative data about …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/electricity-is-not-a-service/

Who ate all the donkeys?

On the difficulties of transporting solar equipment to remote places Working at Smart Villages, we are very fortunate to work in some incredible locations. One of the most stunning is Kasese district in western Uganda.  Located exactly along the equator, dominated by two national parks, and nestling in amongst the breath-taking Rwenzori mountains, the district …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/who-ate-all-the-donkeys/

The Service Value Test – what it is and why we use it

The Service Value Test (SVT for short) is a key tool in the Smart Villages approach that we like to use as early as possible in our conversations with communities we are looking to work with. We find it really helpful for the following reasons: It gets us quantitative preference data from community members telling …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/the-service-value-test-what-and-why/

Fairtrade Coffee at its Source in Uganda

It’s a long journey from a tiny bean growing in the mountains of Uganda to your first morning cup of coffee in the UK, nearly 7000km away. To learn more about this journey, some SVRG members visited a coffee processing facility funded by the Lutheran World Group near Kasese, Uganda in November, 2020. This facility …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/making-coffee/

Jan/Feb 2021 Trip Video – Tanzania & Uganda

A short video showing some highlights from our most recent work visit to Africa to give you a flavour of our everyday lives out on the field: fixing milling machines, inspecting and diagnosing solar equipment, running telehealth trials, joining our project partners in cooking food, running focus groups, visiting schools, helping build cold-stores, travelling to …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/jan-feb-2021-trip-video-tanzania-uganda/

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/

Award-Winning Employees!

We’re pleased and immensely proud to announce that Natasha Wilson, one of our development engineers who joined in July 2020, has been awarded the Institute of Mechanical Engineer’s (IMechE) Scholarship Visionary Award 2020, for her drive to use engineering as tool for positive change and development. Here’s her acceptance video, filmed in Uganda on the …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/award-winning-employees/

A Personal Recount of Challenging Travel through Heavy Rains and Political Campaigns

Something we realised during our most recent trip to Uganda, is the importance of timing visits according to the seasons and political rallies. This personal recount is adapted from notes written during the trip: 19/11/2021 Just as we arrived in Kampala, we found out there’d been protests following the arrest of Bobi Wine, a presidential …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/a-personal-recount-of-challenging-travel-through-heavy-rains-and-political-campaigns/

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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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/what-we-mean-by-community-engagement-the-svrg-way-of-working/

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/

Farmer’s Enterprise Centres and Mini-grids Rural Uganda

Project Overview SVRG is carrying this project out jointly with our partners in Uganda, social enterprise EcoLife Foods, and community NGO Kiima Foods. This project is funded by InnovateUK, the UK’s Innovation Agency under the Energy Catalyst Round 7 programme. The Issue Access to electricity is very low in Uganda, with rural areas having electrification …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/minigrids-and-integrated-anchor-loads-in-rural-uganda/

Low-cost Efficient Rural Cold Storage in Uganda

SVRG carried out this project jointly with our partner in Uganda, social enterprise EcoLife Foods, based in Matugga, north of Kampala. This project was funded by the Efficiency for Access Coalition. Together with our partners in Uganda, Ecolife Foods, we have worked to develop and test improvements to a low-cost, local-technology-driven cold storage solution. The …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/low-cost-efficient-rural-cold-storage-in-uganda/

Woman farmer: Land ownership in Africa “the preserve of men”

On the surface, the facts are startling. According to Farming First, a coalition of farmers, engineers, scientists and industry, women[lightbox full=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaiban/6866495548/”][/lightbox] constitute up to 80% of Africa’s smallholder farmers and are produce around 90% of its food. Key issues in the northern Ugandan context, the focus of the article published by Thomson Reuters Foundation, relate to issues of …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/men-grow-tobacco-drinking-money-women-feed-families/