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Obama's Grandmother Gets A Solar Upgrade, New Roof

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Remember last fall when Barack Obama’s Kenyan step-grandmother was dealing with thieves attempting to steal her solar panels? The technology was a gift to her from an airline executive who wanted the 86-year-old to be able to watch her grandson’s historic election. The village in which Mama Sarah Obama lives has no electricity — so the solar panels were a wanted item; forcing police to patrol her home around the clock.

Fast forward almost a year later and Mama Sara is now living off-the-grid with clean energy powering her entire home. Young Kenyans working with Greenpeace’s Solar Generation initiative installed the panels, along with a brand new roof. “I am very pleased that my home has been improved thanks to solar energy and I’ll make sure my grandson hears about it,” Mama Sarah said. “Solar power is clean, reliable and affordable, unlike paraffin that is widely used in the area. Also, we now have qualified youth in the village who can help with the upkeep of the systems.”

Greenpeace also worked with youths in the village of Kogelo to add solar panels to the Barack Obama School there. To see some photos from the effort, jump here.

Photo credit: Richard Mark Dobson/Greenpeace

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