Vitalite, a social enterprise in Zambia, are trying to address environmental and health issues by providing alternatives to charcoal with clean tech.
Location: Lusaka, Zambia
Volunteers: Melissa Hamalambo, Emmanuel Muntanga, Helen Wright, Edward Lowe
This case study provides an example of the ideal Challenges Worldwide impact – an enterprise which is providing employment and training for a range of people, is having a social impact (in this case health and environmental) and is profitable – ensuring sustainability and growth options. This is then combined with an exceptional experience for the volunteers, resulting in employment for our ICVs and continued engagement with global issues for all volunteers.
Deforestation is a huge issue in Zambia, with over 250,000 hectares of forest cleared every year – a significant proportion of this to create charcoal for fuel. This is hardly surprising with only 26% of the population having access to electricity and frequent ‘brownouts’ resulting in no electricity for up to eight hours at a time. Charcoal provides the cheapest form of energy, but this has a devastating effect on the environment and people’s health.
Vitalite, a social enterprise in Zambia, are trying to address these issues by providing alternatives to charcoal – through efficient cook stoves, sustainable fuel, and solar solutions. In 2014 Vitalite impacted over 3,000 households and 15,000 people, this was before the introduction of their pay as you go system which has increased their reach even further and has huge potential. The largest company of this kind, M-KOPA in Kenya, has connected 400,000 homes to affordable solar power – demonstrating the huge potential of this kind of intervention.
 IEA (2014) Africa Energy Outlook 2014
 Vitalite (2015) Company Brief 2015