Egbeke is a landlocked community with GPS Coordinates 5.190oN, 7.216oE located in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State Nigeria.
The Community is approximately 2hours away from the Heart of Port-Harcourt City.
Egbeke has agriculture and petty commercial activities as its prevailing economic driver.
The community has a total estimated population density of about 450 houses separated into three distinct clans.
The community has a school, health centre, market, telecommunication coverage and churches as social amenities while lacking portable water access (no-longer functional) and a security post.
The predominant means of transportation within the community is majorly by foot or motorbikes.
Quite a handful of the inhabitants have access to electricity through petrol generators while the others are at the mercy of kerosene lamps, candle lamps, firewood etc.
The average cost of petrol in Egbeke is N120.00 (24% costlier than open market rate) while the average cost of kerosene is N200 (300% costlier than open market rate).
The major challenge facing economic development in the community is the lack of electricity access for residential and commercial activities most importantly for the processing of agro-produces before taking them to the market.
In June 2012 – September 2013, GVE Projects Ltd in collaboration with the Institute of Electrical Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Bank of Industry Nigeria (BOI)/ United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Access to Renewable Energy Project and the Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA) implemented a 6.8kW PV solar based pilot project.
The project was aimed at field testing the technical and commercial viability of adopting renewable energy for off-grid rural electrification.
The project was successfully energized in October 2013 and has been functional till date. The project created 20 direct and indirect jobs during the course of implementation while creating an estimated N0.9million ($6,000.00) in wealth in the beneficiary community through construction, survey, labour and other related expenditures.
The project currently offsets an estimated 91.3 metric tons of CO2 annually in the community thereby preserving the natural environment while enhancing the living standards of the inhabitants.
The project led to the transfer of knowledge by training of locals to oversee the daily operation of the site post-implementation.
This has led to the sustainability of the project. The project currently serves 86 Households (26 PBK households and 60 mini-grid houses); 688 people (@ 8 persons per house).
Other project impacts include:
- 22Nos Street lighting points along the main street of Egbeke Community.
- Enhanced security at night
- Extended business operating hours
- Children gather around the street lighting points to study/ play at night.
- 40% reduction in Energy related expenditure.
- The project currently impacts an additional 300people indirectly through the street lighting.
Equally incorporated in the project design is a sensitization phase which will enlighten the inhabitants of the settlement on how to utilize the system within high levels of safety compliance.