LIGHTING UP LIVES
Under Project LightGiver, our volunteers make eco-friendly water bottle lamps, solar bamboo bottle lamps, solar bottle streetlights and they go for a ‘Tour for Light’ to light up a whole community like refugee camp, slum, coastal area, hilltract area, island etc. They lit up at least one locality free-of-cost every month.
In Bangladesh around 3 crore people don’t have access to electricity, globally it’s 1.3 billion. For many, kerosene (paraffin) is a common lighting fuel that is affordable and accessible. Kerosene lamps emit both toxic carbon dioxide (CO2) and black carbon. 13% people, which is 18.5 million in Bangladesh use kerosene lamps, burn 2000 million litres of kerosene, which produces around 45000 tons of carbon. Kerosene lamps pose significant health impacts, due both to chronic illness resulting from inhalation of fumes and to risk of injury due to fire. Kerosene lamps also pose safety and fire risks. Kerosene is highly flammable and there is a high risk of accidents, burns, and even fatalities associated with lamp use. In Bangladesh, for instance, thousands of people are maimed each year by lamp explosions, with a 13% fatality rate. 300 thousand people suffer severe burns caused by overturned kerosene lamps each year.
Poor light quality from kerosene lamps, which are often the sole source of lighting after daylight, limits productivity and opportunities for studying or income-generating work. Kerosene lamps are expensive to operate. Kerosene is costly both for low-income households that buy it, and for governments that subsidize it. Kerosene costs make up 10-25% of household monthly budgets. Globally, Bangladesh is considered the market leader of solar home systems with 6 million household setup. However, these systems remain prohibitively expensive for a large portion of people from the river islands. In other ways Solar lamps designed by EcoVation save people from such situations. Saves people a hefty amount of money every month. There are a hundred kinds of solar lamps out there in the market. But they are expensive, non- repairable, need to be imported from other countries, and have less longevity. But our innovative lamp is made out of local materials thus it’s cheap, it’s locally made, it can be repaired locally, and has a long longevity as one can change it’s battery every two years. Product-wise this is really unique as it is made locally and uses easily available cheap materials.
Under Project LightGiver, our volunteers make eco-friendly water bottle lamps, solar bamboo bottle lamps, solar bottle streetlights and they go for a ‘Tour for Light’ to light up a whole community like refugee camp, slum, coastal area, hilltract area, island etc. They lit up at least one locality free-of-cost every month. First LightGiver team surveys a few rural areas where there is no electricity. Then Volunteers who had no skill about electronics get a short training from the LightGiver engineering team, and then in EcoVation MakersLab they make the lights. A solar lamp made by a volunteer changes a family’s fate. Kids can study after evening, women can do household chores, others can do handicraft or similar work in the yard as the solar street light both illuminates a public area and brings electricity to those without spending hard-earned money.
“If without any technical knowledge & skill I can make a solar lamp & streetlight, anyone can make it” A volunteer Safayet said.
To share an amazing story of Project LightGiver, in 2018 we lit up a whole tribal hill-tract locality in Sitakund, Chittagong. For 55 years around 50 tribal families were living in a remote hill without access to electricity, clean water or any civic facilities. We lit up the locality with our volunteer-made solar lights. Volunteers witness how life changes after light comes in the small houses. 5 French girl interns came from Paris to join us in 2018 for one month internship and volunteering. Our charity initiative is funded by generous corporate CSR sponsors.
We organize sessions in corporates and educational institutes to teach renewable technology and aware youths regarding the climate change, plastic pollution, solution designing, SDG etc. By these sessions we recruit potential volunteers for the projects. Our awareness campaigns impacted 10,000 youths regarding climate action, renewable energy, plastic pollution, SDG, etc. 2000 youth were engaged in volunteering initiatives where they made solar lights that later changed people’s lives.
Since our inception, we have lit up more than 90,000 peoples’ lives including Rohingya refugees directly with our volunteer-made water bottle lamp, bamboo bottle solar lamp and streetlights. We reduced 3250 metric tons of toxic CO2 emissions and reduced toxic kerosene use significantly. Our beneficiaries save around 15,000 BDT yearly on energy cost, in the last few years they saved more than 3 crore BDT.