Water Purification and Solar Energy in Ghana
During the summer of 2015, Paul Healy served as a Solar Field Representative for Saha Global, a non-profit that works on water purification and solar energy in Ghana. On a team of four Field Representatives, he traveled to Northern Region, Ghana in June 2015 to help Ghanaian women start a solar energy business in their community.
On a personal level, Paul wants to explore his interest in business-based solutions to development, which he wants to pursue more seriously later on. His experience in Ghana this summer allowed him to realize his desire to get involved with more complex and larger projects in the future.
Of one particularly memorable experience, Paul writes:
"A man showed up about an hour after our 6:30pm opening time. His compound, the most remote in the village, lies more than half a mile from the solar center. He bought his batteries and left within two minutes. We watched from about 10 feet away as our entrepreneurs installed the batteries, took his money, and gave him change. That was it. No ceremony, no outpouring of thanks. Just a simple transaction. At that moment, I thought to myself: this is the point, this is exactly why we’re here. This kind of commerce didn’t exist in Yakura and now it does. We then checked in on this man’s household this morning during monitoring: he had no questions for us and he reported that he’d been using the lantern for additional cooking and working time at night. His life hasn’t been radically altered: his family remains beset by many of poverty’s harshest challenges. But this family now has a few extra hours of productivity each night without the adverse health effects of using a kerosene lamp. And those few hours matter."