Humanitarian and Development
The villages of Bangang-Chefferie, Nkolandom, Bandjoun and Akonolingua (Cameroon)
€2,500, joint 3rd prize at the 2016 Student Solidarity Awards.
Elie Tambou : “Lumières d’Afrique’s project is a major initiative with a noble cause. This project deserves our support as there are many positive benefits for the target populations, not just with regard to public health but also in terms of economic development and improving residents’ living conditions and consequently social development.”
Lumières d’Afrique has been undertaking humanitarian work for several years in developing countries in Africa and specifically in Cameroon, making its members’ knowledge about energy available to the communities with which the association works.
Their stated mission
This year, Lumières d’Afrique will work in two orphanages (located in the south of the country) and two clinics (in the west of Cameroon).
- Power cuts are a regular problem for the orphanage in Akonolingua, a poor village with 80,000 residents. The association will install emergency lighting and a solar-powered refrigerator for storing drugs and food.
- The doctors struggle to do their jobs because of recurring power outages at Bangang-chefferie clinic where many births take place by oil lamp. The association will install solar-powered emergency lighting and a solar-powered refrigerator so that the doctors can store vaccines in the best possible conditions.
- They will extend the solar-powered electrical system installed during a previous project in 2012 at Nkolandom orphanage.
- At Bandjoun hospital, they will restore the lighting system which they installed in 2012 and which was damaged last year following violent storms.
A sustainable partnership…
The students work closely, both over the course of the year and on the ground, with an association of Cameroonian students specializing in electrical engineering from the Institut universitaire de la Côte in Douala. The Cameroonian students’ association was founded to work in partnership with the French students’ association and is called Lumières pour tous. Their Cameroonian partners enable them to immediately adapt to the local population and enable them to better grasp local issues. These local partners are also vital as they maintain the installations and train the local communities to look after the equipment.
…meeting a real and identified need
In Cameroon, 27% of households have access to an electricity supply and fuel poverty is even more of an issue in rural areas: 70% of the country’s rural population (accounting for 60% of Cameroon’s overall population) do not have access to an electricity supply. Education, healthcare and industry are just some of the sectors hampered by this issue. The Lumières d’Afrique project endeavours to help facilities with a real need for electricity in a country in which lighting poses a real problem.
The 2016 Student Solidarity Awards judging panel awarded the association joint 3rd prize.