The very idea of electricity in Mwanaidi Mwende's home in Mkuranga, Tanzania is unbelievable to her. When asked how electricity would change her life, she replied, "I would be happy. It would be easy for me to charge my phone, have lights in the house. I wouldn't have to buy kerosene. Conditions would be easy. Costs would go down. I would be very happy and relaxed. My kids wouldn't be stressed."
Mwanaidi has never had electricity, and so she cooks with firewood that her children and grandchildren help her find nearby. Though she knows it is bad for her health to do so, she explains she has no other choice.
Laura Ling visited Mwanaidi's home to see firsthand how Mwanaidi lived without power. According to ONE.org, breathing toxic fumes while cooking dinner, as well as the smoke from kerosene lamps and burning other fuels for light and warmth, prematurely kills 3 million people a year worldwide. Living without electricity forces families to spend more time on household chores and tasks that would otherwise be quickly completed with access to energy, leaving little or no time for school for women and young girls, especially.
"I see it as a dream for us to get electricity here," Mwanaidi said. "Even getting water here, I see it as a dream."
To learn more about energy poverty, visit ONE.org