In northwest France, the lle-et-Vilaine council is celebrating 35 years of cooperation with the Mopti region of Mali. This partnership has supported a wide range of projects, designed to improve living conditions for Malian people.
This year has seen the rollout of a new project called TREZOR for Tranquillité en Zones Rurales (peace of mind in rural areas). The aim is to provide solar streetlighting in around a dozen locations. Following an international call for tenders, Fonroche Lighting was selected to supply 200 off-grid streetlights.
Improving security in the rural areas of Mopti
Bringing light to rural areas without electricity in Mali
In Mali, the power grid only covers the areas in and around cities. In the region of Mopti, central Mali, only 24% of the population has access to electricity. At night, the lack of public lighting adds to the sense of being unsafe, caused primarily by the presence of armed groups.
The TREZOR project sets out to address this problem. Fonroche Lighting, the world’s leading provider of solar lighting solutions, will deliver 200 off-grid solar streetlights to around a dozen locations in Mali. Installed along main roads and in busy areas, the streetlights will improve security and quality of life for local residents, while also contributing to social and economic development and helping curb violence. TREZOR will also bolster the role of local authorities in Mali as managers of local projects benefitting the population.
According to Fondem (Fondation Energie pour le Monde), set up to develop green energy facilities in rural areas across Africa, “40,000 people will benefit from the results”.
A clear need for solar lighting
Given the limited access to electricity, solar technology was an obvious choice for this public lighting project. With 300 days of sunshine a year, Mali is the ideal location for this kind of sustainable solution. Fonroche Lighting was nevertheless required to meet detailed specifications on the lighting components used. These included the ability to provide lighting 365 nights a year without interruption in a hot, dusty environment to enhance safety for local people and keep maintenance to a minimum.
A transfer of skills
Given the current security crisis, Fonroche Lighting couldn’t send teams to work in the region of Mopti. So instead it agreed to train staff working for the local authorities. Our Malian partner will oversee a transfer of skills in preventive and corrective maintenance before the streetlights go up.