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It's estimated that somewhere between 1.3 and 1.4 billion people live without electricity. The vast majority of those individuals living in what's known as "energy poverty" are in India and sub-Saharan Africa. Despite huge efforts to bring reliable electricity to all of India, many people living in the poorest parts of the country still experience frequent outages. In sub-Saharan Africa, particularly South Sudan, inadequate electricity is a major problem on society. Not only does the small amount of available electricity drive up energy costs, but it also significantly hinders the country's economy. While there's been a huge amount of aid and investment to improve energy access in the poorest parts of the world, experts agree there is still a long way to go.
In places without reliable electricity access, people are forced to be creative. In this video from Seeker Stories, Laura Ling interviews people who are still trying to their best in their communities: a nurse examines a pregnant woman while she holds a cell phone in her mouth for light; a gelato shop owner keeps her shop open even during regular outages; a young man studies to go to medical school by candlelight. Very cool stuff!