Wednesday, June 12, 2013


I cannot understate the importance of lighting after dark in what the good people at mpowerd call "energy impoverished" areas of the world ( From the GravityLight ( site:
"There are currently over 1.5 billion people in the World who have no reliable access to electricity. These people rely, instead, on biomass fuels (mostly kerosene) for lighting once the sun goes down.

The World Bank estimates that, as a result, 780 million women and children inhale smoke which is equivalent to smoking 2 packets of cigarettes every day. 60% of adult, female lung-cancer victims in developing nations are non-smokers. The fumes also cause eye infections and cataracts, but burning kerosene is also more immediately dangerous: 2.5 million people a year, in India alone, suffer severe burns from overturned kerosene lamps. Burning Kerosene also comes with a financial burden: kerosene for lighting ALONE can consume 10 to 20% of a household's income. This burden traps people in a permanent state of subsistence living, buying cupful’s of fuel for their daily needs, as and when they can.

The burning of Kerosene for lighting also produces 244 million tons of Carbon Dioxide annually."

Decent lighting impacts several areas of the SCANCAPS model of human needs: safe housing, clean air, and reliable means of power production. It also affects medical care, in some cases very dramatically. After witnessing births in Nigeria by "any light source available" (including cellphones) Laura Stachel and her husband Hal Aronson developed the "solar suitcase" to make lights available at all hours of the night. Their mission can be found at

This is just the beginning of my own mission to fill those human needs. Please visits these sites (and and do what you can to help. At the very least, spread the word that there are unmet needs and we have the resources to meet them. Thanks for any help you can give.

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