Solar Powered Fridges Have Huge Impact on Struggling Villages in Swaziland


photo: J. Novak

Swaziland is one of the poorest and most rural nations in the world. Most of the villages have no running water, electricity, or refrigerators. But a new innovation is serving to make life a lot more manageable for rural families in Swaziland. The communal building in many of the villages now has a solar powered fridge. See how these responsible refrigerators are impacting many African villages.Many of Swaziland's villages can now enjoy cold milk and fresh meat thanks to solar powered refrigerators being installed in their villages. In a country where 1/3 of the entire population has no work to speak of and many families are suffering, this is a bigger deal than it may seem. In fact, the manufacturing of these fridges could also bring jobs and modernization to the area. These fridges are also eco-friendly and do not use the chlorofluorocarbons that are known to deplete the ozone. This is the first project of its kind in Swaziland and Africa as a whole. The program is funded by the International Climate Initiative.

The solar powered fridges are specially designed for hot places off the power grid. They have more insulation to keep foods colder longer.

Some of the fridges are used to keep vaccines and HIV/AIDS test kits in village clinics cold. Keep in mind that this is the country with the lowest average life expectancy in the world with 40 percent of the population that's HIV positive and a serious malaria problem as well. Currently, 3.5 million euros have been invested into the project at a savings of 29,000 tonnes of carbon per year.

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