Like many other people in this world, I take energy for granted…from my hot shower in the morning to my midday coffee.
When I went to Kenya last year, I saw what life was like without energy. I met people who had no:
- instant hot water for washing;
- electric or gas for clean cooking;
- refrigeration for vaccines or keeping food fresh;
- light in the evenings for studying or work;
- heating for keeping warm and drying clothes;
- cars to get from A to B;
- radio or television or internet for leisure;
- phones or internet for communication, learning or running a business.
And it struck me how hard it is for people to escape the viscious cycle of poverty without access to energy. People can’t get decent healthcare, a decent education or earn a decent living without access to energy.
Practical Action is advocating for Sustainable Energy for All by 2030 and it is an issue I feel very strongly about.
While reminiscing about my visit to Kenya, I said: “I couldn’t imagine my life without energy.”
And there it was…a challenge! So, in a bid to raise awareness of the issue of energy access, I am going without energy for a week. Yes, a whole week!
I am doing this in the week before the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development where thousands of people will come together to shape how we achieve sustainable development and lift people out of poverty. It is a real opportunity to get global backing for Energy for All by 2030.
The last day of my challenge is on Tuesday 19th June…on Rio+20 Energy Day – a high-level dialogue on energy issues. On the same day it’s Rio + Social – a global gathering that gives a voice to people who want to change the world for the better. The event will be broadcast live here: http://rioplussocial.com.br/en/ and people can join through social media channels. I’ll be using this opportunity to get my voice heard on behalf of millions of others who don’t have access to energy and can’t join in the conversation because they don’t have access to the internet and social media channels.
Follow my blog and find out how I get on without energy for a week. And I challenge anybody else reading this to try going without energy, maybe not for a week, but how about for one day? Just 24 hours with cold showers, non-perishable food and cycling. If you take up my challenge, let me know how you get on by commenting below.