Life before Electricity

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Fikile Simposi will never forget the day she was told that she would be receiving electricity from the TIDRET project. 

This life-changing event brought endless joy to the community but more so to her family of two. Until recently Simposi was a housewife, but everything seems to be going in her favour lately as she will be starting a new job soon. “God has not forgotten me. I have been staying in the Federation’s house without electricity for two years now, and now we finally have electricity. And I start a new job in the coming days. No words can explain the joy in my heart.” 

Days and nights were long without electricity she said. They would use other people’s fridges to store meat, charge mobile phones, including laundry which didn’t come cheap. Normally she would pay N$ 100.00 for a batch of laundry and N$ 2.00 to charge her mobile phone, which has a battery life of about 2- 3 days. “I am extremely happy that I can now use my own fridge, do my laundry and charge my phone. I can now say that I have everything at home” said Simposi.

Life before electricity also meant when her house would run out of gas, they would have to make a fire outside. “In Swakopmund, it is hard because firewood is hard to come by, so we had to opt for pallets but getting a hold of that was also a struggle, or we needed to fork out more money to buy wood,” she proclaimed. 

My husband is very happy about this change too. Further expressing herself she said gone are the days they would wake up and look for matches to light a candle. Now it is just a click of a button and then there is light. “Gone are the days I do laundry with my hands which brought me blisters and bleeding hands. “My hands can rest now” she stated. 

Fikile said that they are equally excited for the next batch of people who are yet to receive electricity. She urges them not to give up hope and reminds them of how long they waited for the houses. “We waited for 17 years for these houses, until we finally got them. Just be patient. It will come.” When asked if she had a message to the implementing partners Fikile said “to the partners who made this possible, thank you for all your efforts and to Erongo Red that allowed the TIDRET project to put electricity for us.”

The TIDRET Project is an initiative lead by the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF) under the European Union’s Climate Change and Inclusive Use of Natural Resources Project (CCIU-EU) of the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) administered through the GIZ.