Last week, we reveal to you our favorite project on the Google Global Impact Challenge, The solar outdoor lighting project in Tanzania, from the non-profits SolarAid. On June 4th, Google announced the name of the 4 winners to receive the £500,000 prize and the NGO is among them!
The Charity aims to prevent the use of kerosene lamps in Africa. For this purpose, they are active in few countries on the continent and intent to expand further with time. With the Google Global Impact Prize, they will supply several household with 14,400 solar outdoor lights. The urge is high as families in Tanzania, and all across Africa, use kerosene lamps to light up outdoor and indoor areas. The use of kerosene lamp is dangerous in 2 main aspects. Firstly, it’s harmful for human being and the environment. Indeed, emanation of toxic gas comes from the use of kerosene lamp. The World Health Organization stated that having one kerosene lamp in a house is like smoking 40 cigarettes per day! When you know that one kerosene lamp produces about one tonne of carbon in 5 years, it is not a surprise. Knowing that, we can easily conclude that kerosene lamp is also toxic for our planet Earth. Secondly, kerosene lamp represents about 20% of families’ income in Africa. It is a huge amount when you know that the majority of African population lives below the poverty income limit.
As half Tanzania’s population living off the grid map, kerosene lamp is the only solution for locals. With SolairAid, they will be able to opt for another alternative. Solar powered lights have a lifespan of 5 years and will be profitable after only 12 weeks of use. More than just providing families with solar lighting solution, the NGO is also providing men and women with training on solar lighting so they will be able to sell it and expand its use over the country. SolarAid is thinking on a long run project that should help locals to be financially stable as they expand solar outdoor lighting and solar indoor lighting all across the country.
The NGO itself is expanding its activities to other African countries. Not long ago, the World Bank even contacted them to participate in a solar light project for students in Senegal.
Other winners of the Challenge include a project to protect wildlife in Africa, an application development to train youngster in the UK and a compliance tool to help rebuilt cities destroyed by war.