Solar Campaign Energizes Communities in the Kilimanjaro Region

In the Tanzania bush, like most of sub-Saharan Africa, two out of every three people have no access to electricity. They call it energy poverty, and it is handicapping economic development in a region already gripped by poverty.

Access to clean modern energy in sub-Saharan Africa, where 620 million people have no electricity, is pivotal if global efforts to overcome poverty are to succeed. In December 2016, Lalafofofo, a 501(c)3 organization that establishes small-scale projects to benefit people in the Kilimanjaro region of East Africa, launched its first Kickstarter campaign called “Light up Tanzania” to bring solar lanterns into the grass and mud huts of Tanzanian families simply to provide a safe light source during the region’s 12-hour-long pitch dark nights.

Due to its geographic proximity to the equator, Tanzania experiences 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of nighttime year-round. That means 12 hour nights spent in pitch darkness. As most Tanzanians in remote villages of the bush live in huts hand-constructed of grass and mud, the long nights without light make their already difficult lives even more difficult.

While most of these families cannot even afford kerosene or candles to light their homes at night, those who can are risking other dangers by doing so. Burning kerosene fills the small huts with smoke and fumes that, when breathed routinely long-term cause symptoms of upper respiratory ailments and could result in neurological or kidney damage, including blood clots that damage the brain, heart or other organs. Gastrointestinal problems including vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps or swelling in the stomach, coughing, restlessness, and drowsiness or unconsciousness cy, arid can also occur, especially in children.

Lit candles inside these tiny huts constructed by hand using grass and mud are a serious fire hazard in this arid climate. But for families with children who need light to read, do homework, play, and otherwise get through the long stretches of nighttime, the risks are often outweighed by necessity.

“Light up Tanzania” is Lalafofofo’s campaign to bring solar lanterns into as many of these impoverished families’ lives as possible. The solar lanterns, which Westerners use for camping, backyard lighting, emergency lighting during a power outage and a variety of other situations, prove to be a perfect solution for Tanzanians living without electricity. The “Light Up Tanzania” campaign asks donors to purchase one lantern at a cost of only $15 to donate to a family living in the Tanzanian bush, and in return donors receive a free lantern for themselves.

Setting the lamps out in the sun for a few hours provides them with enough solar energy to disperse light for 12 hours or more at night, helping area business owners to stay open at night, and relieving families that live in total darkness for 12 hours each day.

Help lift impoverished families living in the Tanzanian bush out of darkness. A one-time donation of just $15 is all it takes, and you’ll receive a solar lantern that will come in handy in a variety of situations. Please donate today by clicking here