In the 21st century, it can often be hard to recognize the extent of our dependence on technology for day to day activities. While energy reliance fuels a range of activities that provide us comfortable living and entertainment, countries around the world continue to battle with the insufficient access to basic needs such as running medical facilities and schools.
According to a recent article discussing energy poverty:
- In India, nearly half of all health facilities – serving an estimated 580 million people – lack electricity
- Only 25% of facilities have a reliable energy supply, and blackouts happen at least six times a month, for an average of 4.5 hours at a time in Kenya
- In some sub-Saharan African countries, such as Burundi, only 2% of primary schools have electricity.
The lack of sufficient tools for consistent electricity adds to a measurable degree of poverty that prevents communities from progressing. Without appropriate access to electricity, generations of children continue to grow without the chance of being able to engage in an academic environment that helps expose different living perspectives. This intellectual vulnerability prohibits waves of populations from climbing up the opportunity ladder that would help reduce the strain of poverty.
The data presented in the article also suggests that energy poverty deprives about one billion people of adequate healthcare around the world. Fluctuating access to electricity further endangers ill and wounded patients from getting proper medical attention. Unreliable lighting during procedures jeopardizes the health and life of individuals seeking remedy. The lack of storage facilities that would keep vaccines and other treatments within appropriate temperatures also creates hazardous environments. Governmental organizations, businesses and non-profits invest a great deal of efforts in providing vaccines and tools to suffering communities, but without access to appropriate energy there will continue to be a regression into of poverty.
Photo by Esther Havens.