An estimated 3 million Kenyan children lack access to electricity and either cannot study during evening hours or have to complete their homework with only the light from the cooking fire or a kerosene lantern. Neither options are safe nor effective lighting methods. Without adequate lighting to study during evening hours, students’ academic performance is largely affected. The use of solar lights is a simple, sustainable solution to lighting for children across non-electrified rural regions of Kenya.
Solar Lights Helps Children Succeed
Study time during evenings in regions without electricity is cut short as soon as the sun sets. It also affects students’ school attendance and performance as many children are burdened with the responsibility of collecting firewood, buying kerosene, or forced to study with only a dim light source, which tires eyes out more quickly. D-Light solar lights as distributed by the NECF, are 6 times brighter than a kerosene lamp, which helps children finish their homework and put in extra hours of study which has shown to improve their grades and confidence in school.
Replacing Kerosene with Solar Lights Contributes To Child Health And Safety
Only 48.39% of the rural population in Kenya have access to electricity, according to the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) energy progress report of 2019. With many Kenyans relying on kerosene and wood burning as their primary source of lighting, children are in danger of fire accidents and fume inhalation. Some kerosene lamps emit fine particulates, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide when burned, which may reduce lung function and increase risks of asthma and cancer. The use of solar lights makes life easier and healthier for the family.
Solar Lights Results in Significant Household Savings
In rural Kenya, most households earn less than 3,000 Ksh ($30) per month and spend almost 1200 Ksh ($12) on kerosene per month. A large portion of their monthly salary currently goes to lighting, having access to a solar light is life-changing. By using solar lanterns, a family can save up to 6,000 Ksh ($60) a year enabling them to spend their savings on food, school costs and investment in livelihoods, creating a cycle of development for the betterment of the children and the family.
Solar Lights Are Kinder to Our Planet and the Environment
A great need exists for an off-grid alternative to the lighting woes of Kenyans living in rural regions. Solar-powered lamps have a lower carbon footprint and reduce pollution compared to burning kerosene and wood. It produces no harmful emissions that damage the environment, and it is clean, renewable, and uses an unlimited energy source: the sun.
Access to solar lights helps the entire family
Although we provide solar lights to children to aid in their studies, solar lights benefit the whole family. Solar lights are used to do other tasks ranging from night chores, cooking, eating, and as a deterrent for danger when outside at night.
As much as the government has laid plans to electrify more areas across Kenya, the need for affordable power is still prevalent. Through the NECF’s ‘Lights for Learning’ program, we have distributed more than 7500 solar lights throughout Kenya yet that only scratches the surface of need. In 2021, we aim to distribute 1000 lights!
Your support of 10$ is enough to change the life of a child and their family living in regions without electricity. Help bring happiness to a child today with the gift of light.