The Last Kilometer teams with Coca-Cola to bring power to markets in Liberia
At the invitation of the Liberia Coca-cola Bottling Company (LCCBC), The Last Kilometer investigated opportunities to improve energy access in the community surrounding their bottling plant in Monrovia. Along with LCCBC staff, the authors identified three opportunities for LCCBC to engage the community and provide a social benefit while increasing energy access.
Grid connections and alternative fuel sources such as generators are not normally available or
are prohibitively expensive to operate these distributorships and limit hours of operation during
daylight hours only. For example: average daily household income in Liberia is $1.79 USD per
day and it cost as much as $0.22 to charge one single cell phone. This small amount of energy
costs around $1.20 per kWh and consumes an average of 12% of household income. The authors were provided with access to several small distributors, a local market, and a school in a
community where many LCCBC employees live.
The team was provided access to several small distributors operating in or near community markets. Local distributors have little access to power, and where there is access the tariffs are prohibitively expensive. Locations with access to the local utility would pay as much as $45 USD per month for one Amp of power.
LCCBC and the Coca-ColaAfrica Foundation support the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN). RAIN’s Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) program has funded the construction of water purification and distribution stations located in highly populated and active centers of community. There are five WASH stations in Liberia. Each WASH station has the capacity to pump, purify, and sell water to the community. Each WASH station is dependent upon diesel generators to generate pumping power. RAIN’s goal is for the water purification stations to be economically viable, and this goal is challenged by the high cost to purchase diesel fuel.
The Last Kilometer proposed to create a Power in Community Markets (PCM) program sponsored by LCCBC to promote energy access and increase local economic development in the local community. The program goals are to increase capacity of locally owned beverage distribution centers and water purification stations in and around the local area of Monrovia.
The objective of PCM will be to create a standalone business with the capacity to maintain the initial customer base and expand the program by promoting the benefits of energy access in the community. PCM will provide training to the staff on how to collect monthly fees, ensure the equipment is performing and collect data on the program’s impact from the customers and the surrounding community. Upon successful completion of the pilot phase, LCCBC and PCM will establish a coop to own, operate and maintain the equipment.