Hackney lawyer and friends launch crowdfunding campaign to provide electricity to Ghanaian slum

David Boyd with children from Old Fadama

David Boyd with children from Old Fadama - Credit: Archant

A trainee lawyer has launched a fundraising campaign to help provide electricity, running water and healthcare to hundreds of people in a Ghanaian slum.

David Boyd, 25, of Mare Street, Hackney Central, was inspired to set up the social enterprise after interning at a women’s support group in the country’s capital Accra last July.

His stay followed an electrical fire in a slum just outside the city which left 3,500 people homeless and two children dead.

He returned home and set up Energy for Old Fadama (EFOF) – named after the slum – with three friends.

This week they are launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise £25,000 to provide renewable energy for more than 200 families and 40 community buildings.

Many people in Old Fadama get electricity by illegally connecting to the grid, but it can overload and cause devastating fires such as one he witnessed the affects of as the homes in the slum are packed so tightly together.

The lawyer with City law firm Clifford Chance said: “More than 100,000 people live in Old Fadama, located next to the Korle Lagoon, one of the earth’s largest e-waste dumping grounds.

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“Without access to running water, healthcare or safe electricity, the community faces ever-present risks of illness and death.

“Electricity is a human necessity, but despite being surrounded by the dross of the world’s electronic waste, the residents of Old Fadama are forced to siphon electricity with homemade hook-ups.

“EFOF is seeking to address these substantial human rights issues by providing clean, safe, solar energy to the community. We have already conducted a trial in which two schools and five public buildings have been provided with electricity.

“I’m trying to reach out to the large Ghanaian diaspora in Hackney, and am interested in providing opportunities for fundraising, volunteering and promotion of the project to members of the local community.

“We are one of the first international social enterprises to have been launched in the UK, and I believe we have the infrastructure in place to make a real difference to the lives of the community in Old Fadama.”

n To find out more, visit efof.org.uk.