In this newsletter we would like to tell you about our cooperation with the World Solar Fund (WSF).

World Solar Fund (WSF) is a non-profit organization, registered in the USA and Europe, which aims to improve the living conditions of vulnerable groups. WSF wants to help people after a natural disaster and people that are living in refugee camps by giving them a source of electricity for lighting and cooking. This helps create a safer and healthier environment.

The WSF with local partners like Global Solar (Private) Limited here in Zimbabwe introduces solar energy as a replacement for the current hazardous energy sources (kerosene, batteries, wood). This contributes to local and regional economic and social developments and hereby reduces the environmental and health effects.
Together we aim to help people in crisis situations, people in refugee camps and people living in poverty in developing countries.
We help poor people to have access to solar lights and solar cookers and hereby reduce deforestation and improve their living and health conditions.

The WSF promotes two main solar products.

Green Sunlight solar lamp

The first is the Green Sunlight Solar lamp with 3 stages and the possibility to charge your mobile phone.
The first end is to provide school children with this lamp.
The lanterns used now consume kerosene and are not bright enough when used to read at night.
Lanterns are hazardous and produce smokes that are harmful to your health.

During the pilot with 50 lamps we noticed that the health condition of the children improved (better eye and lung conditions) and that they were able to do their homework more quickly and thus they were pretty astute in school.
When this continues they will have more changes for a follow-up education and thus a better future.
The other end is to provide pregnant women with a Green Sunlight solar lamp.

Almost everybody in Zimbabwe has a mobile phone, but the possibility of charging the phones especially in the rural areas are rare.With the Green Sunlight solar lamp and the USB-connection people always have the possibility to charge their phone.
As child mortality is rather high in Africa, pregnant women now have the possibility to contact their midwife in time when needed and can take the lamp with her when she has to give birth in a local hospital so that there is always light available.
One of the main reasons for us to cooperate with the WSF is their intention to produce their Green Sunlight solar lamp locally under the condition that the quantities are big enough.

 

Solar Driven Cooker

Cooking in the rural areas uses mostly firewood and this leads to deforestation. Women and children therefore spend a lot of time looking for firewood.
Smoke from the firewood especially when cooking is done inside is toxic and hazardous. This leads to a lot of women suffering from lung diseases and eye problems.
The solar driven cooker saves 50 – 85% of the now used fuel, and produces at least 90% less smoke. The used fuel is preferably pellets made from any kind of biomass.
The cooker has a small LED lamp and also has a USB – connection. When the battery is fully loaded you can cook about 20 hours.
The outcome of the small pilot is that the number of coughs and sore eyes were reduced with more than 50% and the cooking time was reduced with almost 60%.
This means that the women can spend much more time on other activities like growing their own crops, on education and starting up their own small enterprise.
It is also possible to produce the cooker (partly) locally when the numbers are big enough.

The cooker uses biomass pellets to burn therefore it will also be necessary to provide pellets made from available biomass.
As the price of the cooker is rather high, we intend to give the cooker for free and charge the user with an obligatory subscription for the pellets to be used for a certain period.

 

Conclusion

The impact of the small pilot is that we intend to start up a bigger pilot for 2.500 solar driven cookers and 40.000 solar lamps. After a successful second pilot we plan to scale up the plan to 50.000 cookers and 800.000 solar lamps.
For every cooker will be replanted 3 trees and for every solar lamp 1 tree will be replanted.
In this way we also deliver a contribution to the decrease of deforestation.