It's Earthrise time again:



Some thoughts:

  • One of the things that has struck me about working with Empower is the massive impact that access to electric lighting can have. While the rest of us may take it for granted, many people around the world have to stop studying and working the moment the sun goes down. Obviously, this is a massive hamper both on opportunity and productivity. Furthermore, those who burn candles, oil or wood for light, can pay for it dearly both financially and with their health. In Kapita Village, Malawi, where we do some work, one of the biggest impacts we have made is through solar lanterns. Children can keep studying, families can better enjoy each other's time, and businessmen and businesswomen can keep working.
  • Many parts of Africa have already leap-frogged the rest of us when it comes to mobile banking. But it seems like they are set to do it again when it comes to forms of decentralised electricity generation like solar power. Not only might they get away without expending vast amounts building and maintaining antiquated infrastructure (not to mention getting ripped off once this infrastructure is privatised), it will also have less of an environmental impact.
  • Liter of Light is an amazing concept (despite it being spelt wrong), and is an even better extension of the benefits provided by solar lanterns. If you have ever seen a shanty town or a slum, they are so crowded you probably would not want an open skylight, even if you could make one. By bringing in light without opening up houses to the elements, you are making the space usable for studying or working, or even just living.