Indigenous community in Africa gets electricity for the first time.
SAINT PAUL, Minn. (May 19, 2021) — Indifly is pleased to announce the Makhangoa Solar Project — a recent initiative that brought electricity to the Makhangoa Community Camp in Lesotho (Africa).
Last year Indifly created a social impact fund to provide immediate impacts to communities in need. After months of planning, Indifly fully funded the purchase and installation of 65 life-changing solar kits. The kits, which include a battery, inverter, solar module, four lamps, FM radio, USB ports, and a cell phone charger set, are providing 59 households with electricity for the first time ever. An additional six solar kits were purchased for the school and will be installed at a later date.
Makhangoa village is a small community situated on the banks of the Bokong River in the Katse district of Lesotho. The community leads a basic lifestyle, mostly living by subsistence farming and fishing. In 2012, African Waters, a South African fly fishing operator, identified the Bokong River as a potential fishery and approached the community with a plan for partnership. Since then, the Makhangoa Community Camp has become a world-renowned fishing destination, generating a substantial economy for the people of Makhangoa while employing a large portion of the village. This successful model has generated enough income for the people of Makhangoa to improve their livelihoods, but the community was still lacking a basic human need — electricity. The dream to give solar power to the village was born, Indifly teamed up with African Waters, and the Makhangoa Solar Project was set in motion.
“What started off as a fly fishing endeavor has grown into a life-changing community project. For me, to see a small village in rural Africa be empowered through fly fishing is really heart warming,” says Indifly’s Johann Du Preez, who is managing the project and documenting it in a new film. “African Waters and Indifly brought light to the community of Makhangoa, and I am excited to see what the future holds for this amazing group of people.”
“The Makhangoa solar project has not only added significant improvements to the daily lives of Makhangoa villagers, the timing of the project has bolstered morale in the village as we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic,” adds Keith Clover, director of African Waters.
For Makhangoa Council Member Elias Ntlele, gratitude for the efforts were shared throughout the community. “Really this project is of high benefit to us, and the villagers were very happy about this,” he says. “And they also said that if Mr. Keith was a politician, we would elect him as Prime Minister of this country, because what he says he implements.”
“We are honored to partner with African Waters to provide what many consider a basic human need (electricity) to the Makhangoa community,” adds Indifly Executive Director Matt Shilling. “Now more than ever, we all need to think about how we can support and empower the custodians of 80 percent of the world’s remaining biodiversity.”
Those interested in supporting Indifly’s social impact efforts can do so by joining the Indifly Corps or making a one-time donation.
Indifly is a nonprofit organization that believes in a world in which Indigenous peoples are empowered and inspired by entrepreneurship and environmental stewardship. Using fly fishing as a tool for transforming the lives of Indigenous peoples and protecting valued environments, Indifly works to create sustainable local economies that empower communities to conserve natural resources. Current Indifly projects include Rewa, Guyana, Anaa Atoll, French Polynesia, Makhangoa Community Camp, Lesotho, and the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming.