SoLanterns

Website: http://www.launch.org/innovators/nina-marsalek

Description: Sun-powered lanterns are safe, emission free, and affordable for even low-income households. They are designed to be used in rough environments and provide easy-to-use light that helps increase school performance and business productivity. The initiative’s micro-entrepreneur model also creates jobs, especially benefitting young people and women.

Why: Kenya has 18% electrification rate. That means that for 82% of the population, the current lighting option is predominantly kerosene lanterns. Yet, the problems with kerosene lanterns are well documented including respiratory illnesses for women and children due to indoor air pollution, the very high fire hazard that these lanterns pose, the cost to the households that is purchasing kerosene, the poor light quality that negatively affects children doing their homework in the evenings. Fortunately however, a solution exists that addresses all the above problems. And yes, solar today is more economical than kerosene lanterns. Our lanterns retail for ksh. 2,000 and have a battery life of 3yrs before the battery needs replacing. So very conservatively, that is ksh. 666.00 a year for lighting compared to ksh 3,650 per year using kerosene lanterns and assuming an average ksh. 10 per night worth of kerosene use. Said another way, a family can buy a solar lantern with the same amount of money they spend on kerosene in 200 days. Which means that until the battery needs replacing, they have free, high quality, environmentally clean and safe lighting solution.

Availability Limits: Kenya and USA

Implementation Effort: Simple

Maximum Cost: $25 USD

Audience: Communities, Education, Individuals

#LivableCommunities #Sustainability

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