Neema Ayubu received her 200Wp Mobisol solar home system (SHS) in October 2013. She lives in Maji ya Chai on the hilly and fertile countryside in the Arusha Region of Tanzania. Neema is a mother of six children, all of whom but one have already left the house starting their own families or following their career. Her eldest son is working in the electronics market in Tanzania’s bustling commercial centre of Dar es Salaam. Since Neema’s husband passed away several years ago, had it not been for this son’s support, Neema would not have been able to afford the instalments for her Mobisol system. Using M-Pesa however, her son can easily pay off the monthly rates from Dar es Salaam by simply using his mobile phone.
Neema presently lives with her 11 year-old granddaughter and last-born teenage son. With the 200Wp Mobisol solar home system her family can power many lights, a stereo system, rechargeable radio, as well as TV – an entertainment system in which the children are particularly proud of. But for Neema the most important thing is to simply have clean and bright lights illuminating their home. Now each night the children can study unbothered by kerosene lamp pollution and Neema too can work after the sun sets. The family is now even considering buying a refrigerator. Neema will be able to afford this purchase for since owning her own Mobisol system she has begun to work as a certified freelance Mobisol Marketing Agent. To date, Neema has sold twelve Mobisol solar home systems. The work she is doing has led to such a substantial increase of her monthly budget that she managed to recently buy herself a gas stove, making cooking much faster and easier. Neema is spending less money and, importantly, is no longer contributing to deforestation due to unregulated charcoal production that is endemic to her region.
The marketing work that Neema is doing requires walking long distances to meet and greet neighbours as the Maji ya Chai countryside is dotted with houses far and wide amongst the vast fields of millet and matoke (plantains). For Neema however the work has many benefits and is very rewarding as she is quick to point out. “My neighbours welcome and respect me and are excited by the Mobisol product. People here know what solar energy can mean to their lives.” Since most people in Neema’s region live in remote areas with long distances separating households, it is very likely that they will never see the national grid connect to their homes. People here are farmers and cattle herders and would have difficulties paying for a solar home system outright – but they and their families are wealthy enough to pay for the monthly instalment rates.