Flag of HaitiThe president of Haiti has announced the launch of a programme to household solar energy to some of the most remote parts of the country:

Haiti’s president said Monday he hopes to double the number of rural households that receive electricity within two years by offering people small loans to buy solar kits.

The announcement by President Michel Martelly is part of a $45 million-plus energy package that aims to introduce electricity to thousands of people in this impoverished nation who otherwise illuminate their homes by candlelight.

The program, dubbed “Give me light, give me life,” seeks to build credit for rural Haitians as they take out loans to purchase small solar kits for charging their cell phones or computers.

The 40-year-old state-run Electricity of Haiti can only power 200,000 homes, Martelly said, and only 30 percent of the population in this country of 10 million has access to a power supply. Even then, most parts of Haiti only have electricity for a few hours a day, forcing many businesses and some homes to rely on generators and expensive fuel imports.

The new program will call on smaller Haitian banks to issue $30 million in loans with an interest rate of 7 percent, payable over seven years. The credit will help families purchase solar kits that will each cost between $250 and $350.

The families in question live in two of the most remote corners of the country — the Grand-Anse, the mountainous tip of the western peninsula, and the Northwest province.

In the end, the program seeks to give a power supply to 200,000 households within two years before moving onto the rest of Haiti, Martelly said.

Read more in the full article from the Washington Post.

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