Country: Malawi. Click here for full country profile
About: Poor communities in Malawi use kerosene for lighting, which is highly toxic. This project will introduce clean, affordable solar lighting and electricity into rural homes by local solar entrepreneurs.
Duration: 2 years
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We are doing this project in partnership with TRAID, a ground breaking charity committed to protecting the environment and reducing world poverty through recycling and delivering educational programmes and campaigning.
The majority of people living in rural Malawi do not have access to electricity and are forced to burn kerosene for lighting. Kerosene is harmful to health, dangerous and increasingly expensive. Kerosene is also a fossil fuel that emits greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change - our calculations show that the average kerosene lamp in Africa spews out a tonne of CO2 in less than 10 years.
This project will introduce simple, locally assembled, affordable LED solar lanterns to the poorest communities. It will provide people with a cheap alternative to kerosene, saving many lives.
We will train 120 young people orphaned or affected by HIV/AIDS in Northern Malawi in solar skills to build these solar lanterns. We will help source and import solar and LED materials to Malawi.
The lights will be sold through existing sales networks and, most importantly, the low cost will ensure the new technology is readily accepted.
As an added benefit, employment is generated through product assembly and sales. The products can be repaired locally, which provides salesmen with the confidence to issue warranties.
- Better quality lighting for all at lower costs.
- Increased access to clean, renewable forms of lighting.
- Thousands of lives saved and better health for all.
- Employment for poor families, helping them overcome poverty.
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions from displaced fossil fuels.
What your gift will buy:
The components needed to make a solar powered LED light cost about £4. Once assembled, the final product can be sold for up to £7. This is cheaper than in other countries, as materials are cheaper in Malawi.
Funds are reinvested to pay a team of assemblers, support people who sell the products, cover overheads and expand.
To meet the people involved, watch videos and read updates from Malawi, go to the blog