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Use solar, save lives

Use solar, save lives

"Use solar, save lives" is an initiative led by a local NGO partnering with women’s groups in which youth are trained in manufacturing solar-powered lanterns which are distributed to poor rural households and as result are improving the overall standard of living and education. The households which receive the lanterns are also assisted by the initiative to start environmentally-friendly income-generating activities financed from money previously spent on kerosene.

The “Use Solar, Save Lives” initiative involves the design, production and distribution of solar-powered lanterns known as “MwangaBora”. The lanterns are distributed particularly to poor rural households without electricity. The initiative also helps communities to set up environmentally sound economic ventures with the money that would otherwise be spent on kerosene. Sustainable Development for All-Kenya (SDFA-Kenya) seeks out communities living below the poverty line with limited access to electricity and provides them with solar lanterns, working with women’s groups in the villages. It then helps people to use the funds that would otherwise be spent on kerosene to set up economic ventures. SDFA-Kenya in not directly involved in setting up the economic ventures, but provides guidance on how likely particular ventures are to succeed and how to best go about establishing and managing them. 

  • Involve 6,000 more households in the initiative by 2013.
  • Train more young people in the production of solar powered lanterns and encourage communities to embrace other sources of renewable energy.
  • Implement the initiative’s programmes.
  • Help set up at least ten more environmentally sound economic ventures in communities.
  • Expand into other African countries by 2013, starting with pilot projects in Uganda and Sudan.

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