We double the number of households benefited with “Luz en Casa Ngäbe-Bublé” by reaching more than 1,300 new ones to which we provide electricity for the first time, through solar home systems. These homes are added to the 1,400 ones that have joined the programme since 2018, totalling 15,000 people benefited in all.
The “Luz en Casa” programme is based on the installation of third generation solar home systems to provide the electricity basic service in return of a fee, which is lower than the previous expenditure in energy means (candles, batteries, oil lamps...). The beneficiaries have electric lighting during more than 6 hours a day and they can use communication systems and small appliances with phone charging and operation of compatible high efficient electric devices, such as radio, TV, etc.
In addition, “Luz en Casa Ngäbe-Bublé” is also extending the Centro Luz en Casa network in Panama, from 4 to 6 centres. These provide support and maintenance for the solar home systems and manage the users fee, while promoting the local entrepreneurship since they are owned by an entrepreneur trained by acciona.org to give advice, repair and sale of equipment, contributing in this way to the local economy and the maximum use of the electricity.
AECID –the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation– has participated in the implementation of “Luz en Casa Ngäbe-Buglé” as a partner, during the first phases, and as a co funder, in the current scaling phase, within a delegated cooperation agreement with the European Union's LAIF programme.
We also had the approval from the Ngäbe-Buglé region coordination council and we coordinate the activities with the Panama Public Works Ministry's Rural Electrification Bureau.
In Panama, according to Inter-American Development Bank data, in 2018 90,000 families were estimated lacking access to the electricity basic service through grid connection, mainly in the indigenous regions and their surrounding areas. More than a third of those families live in the Ngäbe-Buglé indigenous region. Luz en Casa contributes to filling the gap to achieve the universal access to the electricity in Panama.