BRILHO programme lights 33,000 rural off-grid homes in Mozambique

Improving the life of Naftal Jossefa’s family

Naftal Jossefa is a farmer who owns and works his small agricultural field. He lives with his wife and four children in Golo – a small village close to Homoine district in Inhambane province, southern Mozambique. Naftal and his family, until not long ago, could only dream of one day having electricity supply at home. At night, he used to stay huddled with his family in fear of the dark, “We used to light candles at night, but sometimes it would run out in the middle of a meal. We also used to burn wood and grass so that we could cook at night”, said Naftal.

In Golo and across several other communities, access to grid electricity connection is limited. Mozambique has a large potential off-grid energy market with 20 million people in need of access to electrification solutions and over 90% of the population that could benefit from improved cooking solutions. This market remains virtually untapped, with a large share of the off-grid population being unaware of clean energy technologies and their social and economic benefits.

Under the BRILHO Programme, which is funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), SNV Mozambique has been working at increasing access to solar home systems and promoting a greener economy for families like Naftal’s. Since 2020, the BRILHO programme is supporting business initiatives that provide sustainable off-grid energy solutions. The solar home system installed on Naftal’s home is evidence of the results achieved through BRILHO’s support improving the quality of life for the Mozambican off-grid population. Before installation, Naftal was uncertain about installing a solar home system, but he decided to make the light shine at his home.

“I was uncertain about installing a solar home system because I did not trust the system. I always heard about grid electricity. But after seeing this system installed in my neighbour's house, I decided to purchase it too. Now, we no longer stay in darkness at night. With solar power, my children are now able to study longer hours at home. We can charge our mobile phones, watch TV, listen to the news on the radio.”, he added.

Customers can solve their energy needs by selecting from several solar home system sizes and functional capabilities ranging from basic lighting and mobile phone charging to larger systems that can power a TV, hair clippers, freezers, or other productive appliances. In the beginning, Naftal was using a smaller system that allowed him to charge his mobile phone and light three lamps. But he soon decided to upgrade it, and he now has a system that includes a small color TV.

“I needed to upgrade for more options. I wanted a TV so that I see what is happening in the world and watch other educational programs. At night I can keep some lights on all night. We are very happy to have the light at home. This was far from my dreams”, he added.

BRILHO has been designed as a market-based approach, under the principle that the energy access challenge can also be addressed through innovative business initiatives that can deliver quality, affordable and sustainable off-grid energy products and services. Since 2019, the BRILHO programme has supported over 165,000 Mozambicans with access to electrification solutions.