By Chuks Onyema
Kunak Foundation in partnership with Anjeed Innova Group, has won a $100,000 Unite States African Development Foundation, (USADF) Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge grant.
The foundation which is the charity arm of Anjeed Innova Group said that it won the grant through its Yakowa Market Solar Power Pilot Project.
Eleven grants were awarded in the most recent round of the USADF Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge to improve access to energy in underserved communities in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania.
The Kunak Foundation’s Yakowa Market Pilot Project located in Kafanchan, Kaduna State is one of five solar system projects approved.
Chief Executive Officer of Kunak Foundation, Bavoshiya Nyan said that the $100,000 USADF grant will allow the Kunak Foundation to build the first solar-powered market building in an African marketplace, part of a bigger concept of reforming the African market to the 21st century.
The beneficiaries of the power will be the meat and fish vendors in the Yakowa Market. The market will have a new self-sufficient, sanitary building to safely store and sell their meat and fish products.
“This pilot project building will be powered by clean, renewable solar energy and is designed to be adapted to the needs of almost any type of vendor,” she said
Speaking further about the project, Nyan said: “The use of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels with an SMA Sunny Island management system allows sizing to meet the needs of any vendor. Sunny Island technology and modular design of the meat and fish vendor building, and planned buildings to house other types of vendors, allow for market expansion and connection to the island system without any major redesign or electrical work.
“As buildings for other vendors are constructed, the electrical system of each building can be connected, creating an independent grid for any number of buildings.
“The Yakowa Market buildings will have an integrated water system to provide water to all vendors within the building and a central drainage system to ensure a high level of cleanliness and sanitation.
“Each building will also have LED lights and low-voltage fans to improve the overall market experience for traders and buyers. Centralized market buildings will also increase efficiency of trade and commerce”.
She added that Kunak Foundation and Anjeed Innova Group is grateful for the opportunity given to complete the Yakowa Market Pilot Project which will revolutionize the way meat and fish vendors work in the market and take the first step in bringing clean reliable power to the entire market, with the potential to transform markets throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.
Nyan noted that modular solar power island system of the Yakowa Market Project is one innovative way the Kunak Foundation plans to use PV technology to benefit people, communities and future generations, while preserving the environment.
Speaking about the grant, USADF Power Africa Coordinator Andrew Herscowitz stated, “We received an overwhelming response to this challenge from African entrepreneurs with creative solutions to Africa’s energy crisis. These grants provide these companies with the funding they need to scale their businesses and deliver results for their communities.”
The Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge is funded by GE Africa, USADF and USAID to promote innovative off-grid solutions to increase access to reliable, renewable and affordable power in rural African communities.
By the end of the three-year challenge it will award $5 million to 50 or more African companies and entrepreneurs in amounts up to $100,000.