Benefits for the people
Once the sun sets in Africa, there is complete darkness for nearly 12 hours a night, with the known consequences that we have been told first hand on our on-site visits villages that we have successfully equipped with solar lighting systems: Women and children who get assaulted in the darkness and don’t even dare to go to the restrooms, children who won’t be able to study after a day at school and having to help their parents at the fields afterwards, people who produce handicrafts having to stop their work due to lack of light at sunset, people having to walk for many miles to get their mobile phones charged, etc. Those who can afford to pay for a petroleum lamp do so at a costly price of their health, as the fumes resulting from it have a very disadvantageous effect on their respiratory system, especially children, besides contributing heavily towards CO2 production.
This omplete darkness for nearly 12 hours every night effectively hinders economic development and denies these people even a basic standard of living.
Benefits of the Solar Light for All initiative
On a short summary, the benefits of our initiative of bringing solar systems to these people are:
- Health: Disposal of the harmful kerosene lamps will have immediate positive health effects on the respiratory systems of children (one kerosene lamp equates to 2 packets of cigarettes smoked every day), women and men. Additionally, the number of fires caused by kerosene lamps and the associated deaths and injuries will be reduced dramatically
- Environment: With the average consumption of 5 litres of kerosene per lamp per month or other fuelwoods, this translates into a reduction of the consumption of fossil-fuels, avoid deforestation and reduce CO2 output through the clean energy from the sun
- Income generation activity: Several studies clearly demonstrate the positive impact that the availability of light during morning and evening hours has on the typical productivity of a household, i.e. women spending 40% less on household chores through proper lighting, with this time being available for agricultural work or the production of handicrafts
- Communication: The possibility to charge a mobile phone is of great importance in Africa as the need for communication is increasing. People currently have to walk many miles to charge their mobile phones, again freeing up time for more value-added type of work
- Education: The availability of light allows children to do study in the evening, with a study conducted in India demonstrating that the average study hours of students per household increasing from 1.5 hours to 2.7 hours, with a correlative effect on school performance
- Household spending: The reduced costs for only the small contribution towards the community fund reduces the cost burden the households currently have to spend for expensive kerosene-based light, freeing budget for better nutrition and other important needs
- Safety: Availability of light dramatically increases the level of safety for women and children at night which in effect lowers the risk of rape and other violent attacks
- Job situation: The implementation of the initiative will contribute directly to the local economy via the employment of local workers.
- Scalability and Economies of Scale: Our approach ensures that we can quickly scale up and reach the Economies of Scale that are required to make this solution sustainable for many years to come
- Long-term economic development: The collection of a small monthly fee, with the proceedings going into a community fund in the village which will be used for further investments benefitting the entire community (i.e. clean water installation, light for the village place, etc.), thus providing ongoing local investments in infrastructure, will lead to long-term economic development – this is our “energetic marshall plan”.
All this is available at merely 5 (Euro-)Cent per day!