Solar Lighting Helps to Reduce Poverty

Having a well-lit home is a guaranteed right to every individual. Lighting is needed in homes to assist people in everyday life chores like preparation of food. Everybody has a right to security, and a good lighting system helps in creating an environment that is free from security threats at night and people can easily move about. Most children and adults in school and colleges need light at night to do their homework and studies with a lot of ease. However, this guaranteed right is not an available option to many people across the world.


This might be attributed to high cost of electricity, which many people cannot afford. Inaccessibility to such social amenities such as electric power by people who live in remote and rural areas has led to limited options of having a well-lit home There are activities that can be done with the provided lights that are job relate and income-generating. For example, energy enhances food security by use of its technologies for purposes of irrigation and water pumping. Such energy-dependent  technologies also help in generating income to the remote rural inhabitants who are hugely represented by the poor households. Moreover, it helps in ensuring a sustainable economy of a given country through consistent food supply annually.


How solar lights can contribute to the alleviation of the poverty:

small-scale solar is the key to bringing light into disconnected rural areas." It really improves people's quality of life's" said Berenbach. "You can deliver babies by that light. Kids can study." [1]

Even if we ignore the solar lights’ impacts on population health and well-being, it definitely helps us to fight with poverty around the globe, mainly through two channels.


A.Cost savings


It enables cost savings since the solar lights are less expensive than kerosene in the long run. People can save money since they no longer have to purchase expensive kerosene anymore. According to New York Home Kerosene Price Monitoring program, the cost of kerosene in cents per gallon has been increasing rather than decreasing that shows an increasing cost in the use of kerosene. The cost of deploying solar energy on the other hand dropped significantly due to increase in the number of manufacturers of the solar cells to meet the escalating global demand.


Job creation


new job vacancies through the professional sale, installation and maintenance of solar lighting systems. When modern and affordable forms of energy are readily accessible, employment opportunities are then created which helps to reduce poverty level significantly. The increased access to cleaner energy options available such as electricity is positively correlated to the existing employment opportunities in the formal and non-formal sector activities. Availability of electricity for lighting, refrigeration and medical equipment is guaranteed only with the use of reliable forms of energy. They not only enhance the current health system but also create job opportunities and drive the economy . Also, some activities that are generating income depend on the availability of light even after the dark.


Case Study [1] There’s a place in the world that is fighting poverty with solar power:


A 2013 World Bank report solar lighting units have nearly doubled each year across the continent, rising to 4.4 million units sold in 2012. A study conducted last year by the German government found that between 2005 and 2012, Tanzania increased its solar capacity 4,900 percent from 100 kilowatts — about as much as 12 solar-equipped homes in the United States — to over five megawatts. The boom isn’t just turning on the lights, but opening up new economic opportunities. In the midsize Tanzanian town of Katoro, solar shopkeepers like Edward Buta say business is booming. Buta’s store offers an array of products — from tiny solar flashlights to larger rooftop panel systems — for sale amidst chickens, motorcycle parts, textiles, pineapples, and the other more traditional products. Most of his customers come from villages on the outskirts of town, he says.

There’s very good business,” he says. Just within the last year, “people have understood the benefits of solar, and now they come buying.”

The schoolteacher lives in Sima village just down the road from Kanyala. He bought his first solar system< in 2008. He uses it mainly for lighting, but he has recently started up a side business charging 12 cents for locals to power up their mobile phones.

P.S. you may be interested to our Light the Globe project Its objective, for 'Phase 1', is to provide clean and safe light for 300 students in one school in Zambia.