Come nightfall, the residents of Madzangina lived in complete darkness. The village, in a remote part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has no roads and is located on the far side of a river without a bridge. There is only a small wooden boat pulled from one side of the river to the other on a rope.
Two out of three people in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to electricity, according to the US government-backed Power Africa. And DRC has one of the lowest rates of electrification in the world at just 9 per cent, with 1 per cent in rural areas and 19 per cent in urban areas.
Having no light at night seriously limited the lives of the villagers in Madzangina. No electricity meant it was not safe to go out after dark, particularly for women. It was also difficult to store medicines in fridges, and expectant mothers in labour faced a terrifying three-hour journey on the back of a motorbike to the nearest hospital.
Fortunately, thanks to the work of the local church, the community decided to build its own health care facility and now has a small clinic run by two male nurses. The clinic has a waiting room, consultation room, delivery and recovery room and an open ward with eight beds. The floors are mud and the beds are wooden frames with limited mattresses and bedding. The only electricity is supplied to a single light bulb above the delivery bed and powered by a small solar panel on the roof.