A Clean Solar Alternative to Kerosene Lamps, Nepal

by Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness

Studying, especially for girls, has never been easy in rural areas. Such is the case of Asmita, a resident of Loling VDC, Chitwan.

“I cannot study whenever I want to”, shares Asmita shyly. “There are house chores to do and younger sisters and brothers to look after.”

Asmita is one of the outstanding students of her class but her excellence in studies do not come easily. Like most of her classmates, she has list of chores to complete everyday before finally sitting to study at night.

“Before, I used to study without my parents knowing… only because we used kerosene lamps at night. And me using more kerosene meant more scolding!” Asmita reveals. But she doesn’t have to do it that way nowadays. The reason is solar tuki provided to her by ECCA, which uses zero kerosene and is designed for easy handling and maintanance.

“Two solar tuki lamps that I got in school, we use one for studying and my mother uses the other in the kitchen”,  she says.

For charging, she has to take the lamps to the school, where multiple charger has been kept. It has been a very good excuse to send her to school almost everyday.

Asmita’s story resonates with over 200 households, in her village and neighbouring villages, where solar tuki lamps and multiple chargers (in schools) were provided .  According to the respondents, this has minimized the use of kerosene to a huge extent and attendance number of students in schools is amplifying.

Thank you for your continued support.

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ECCA conducted Solar Tuki Follow up Program in schools of Kalitar, Chyeuding, Gundi and Loling villages in Chitwan district from 6th-9th September, 2016, where solar tuki lamps and multiple chargers were distributed 3 months ago.  The main objective of the visit was to observe the effectiveness of tukis in the lives of local people. Since solar tuki management committees were also established during the distribution time, their effectiveness were also analysed during the monitoring.

Interaction meetings were held with the community people, where people expressed their individual views and feedbacks regarding the solar tuki. With solar mass charging stations placed at schools, parents opened up to the fact that they now have to send their children to school for charging the tukis, which is undoubtedly helping in child education.

“Solar tuki is a very easy lamp, which can be taken anywhere at any time. It is very beneficial for our study and we can even charge them even during holidays”, expressed one of the students in Gundi. In fact, the school attendance has also increased according to the teachers.  

shree-rastriya-primary-school-kalitar

Feedback meeting at Rastriya Primary School, Kalitar

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 Manamaya, who sits to study at night after her household chores are over

Traditional kerosene lamps are now not used in the village.

In case of any problems regarding functioning of solar tuki, they are repaired by local technicians (who were trained by ECCA during tuki distribution).

tikashowri-primary-school-cheuding

Local technicians repairing solar tuki at Tikashwori Primary School, Cheuding

Children and community of Chitwan are moving a step forward in education and technology accessibility. In fact, ECCA will continue to help similar marginalized areas and people where solar tuki can make a positive impact. We are grateful for all who have been supporting us in this regard.

Chepangs are one of the most underprivileged indigenous groups of Nepal. Their settlement areas lie far from development and people are compelled to lead hard lives.  Lothar VDC is one of those remote areas of Chitwan which acts as a home to over 5027 Nepalese people of whom 4000 are highly marginalized Chepang  people (Census 2011). The struggle has the civilization pushed back under margin of underdevelopment.

Lack of electricity is one of the major concerns in Lothar. It has affected series of socio-economic factors including education. To enhance child education by introducing Lothar community to efficient solar  technology, ECCA provided Solar Tuki sets, mass charging sets as well as maintenance training to 4 villages of Lothar namely Lo-ling, Gundi, Cheuding and Kalitar. Students, teachers and parents of 4 schools gathered on June 6, 2016. Each household received 2 solar tuki lamps benefitting 292 households in total, whereas mass charging stations (to charge the solar lamp) are kept at schools as an motivating agenda for school attendance. Thereby, students must come to school to charge their solar lamp.

IMG_4663Students and their parents were invited to receive Solar Tuki lamps
web2ECCA staff provides basic handling techniques of Solar Tuki

ECCA also provided 3 days long Solar tuki repair and maintenance training to 8 participants; 2 from each village. This will help them repair the lamps by themselves without having to travel far for its maintenance. These trained solar lamp repairing technicians will also be benefitting from the income received by repairing the solar lamps.

The program will definitely play a vital role in child education. One of the ECCA program officers elaborated at the end of the program-

“Although people enroll their children at schools, only an average of 50% attend school regularly. Drop out rate is high and we believe that solar tuki can be a milestone to change this."

(For more regular updates regarding our programs and activities, please visit our blog site, Facebook,website, Twitter and YouTube Channel.)

While the loadshedding hours (for the electricity supplied from the government utility company) continue to increase in Nepal, alternative energy usage is amplifying in the lives of Nepalese people. Currently, Nepal faces 10-11 hours of loadshedding in a daily basis. The consequential effects brought by this situation in national economy is often highlighted; however its effect on education of children is hardly addressed.

The earthquake had made it worse. Loss of electrical infrastructures, weakened financial state and lack of immediate accessibility to alternative energy sources in rural areas started bringing people back to using harmful kerosene lamps.

To help young children in their education, and to help women in their household chores, ECCA provided over 1500 solar tuki lamps (along with solar panels) in schools of different earthquake affected villages.

“It has been around 9 months since my children received this tuki in their school. Seeing my children study during night with this tuki makes me happy too”, said one of the parents last week. 

IMG_4537Rasila, a grade 10 student, studies for her School Level Examination in Malta, Lalitpur

 

IMG_4542Rasila's mother gives fodder to animals with the help of tuki

We thank GlobalGiving and all our supporters / donors. Your continuous contribution has helped us improve hundreds of students' lives.

Next, we plan to provide solar tuki lamps to earthquake affected refugees' camp and backward Chepang community in Chitwan.

For updates, please also visit our websiteFacebook,  Twitter , Blog and YouTube Channel.

ECCA distributed Solar Tukis to 350 families and 400 families in the earthquake affected areas of Malta and Asrang respectively.

When distributing Solar Tukis, ECCA provides the villagers an option of either using individual solar panels or establishing a multiple charging station at schools. By establishing a multiple charging station at schools, we give the families another reason to send their children to school. Through this initiative, we have succeeded in increasing the school enrollment and class attendance rates of students in rural areas.

We are also pleased to inform you that “A Clean Solar Alternative to Kerosene Lamps, Nepal” has been exclusively selected by GlobalGiving to be a part of its “Crowd Power – Renewable Energy Match Funding Campaign”.

Global Village Energy Partnership (GVEP) is matching 50% of all donations done starting from Wednesday, February 17, 2016 00:00:01 (GMT) till March 7, 2016 or until the funds last. A total of £10,000 is available for matching. (Here is a helpful online tool to help you determine your local time)

  • The campaign will provide a match for up to £600 per donor per project.
  • Donations can be made in USD or GB Pounds.
  • A minimum of £500 must be raised to unlock the matching.
  • Only online donations made by debit and credit card, PayPal, or a GlobalGiving official gift card are eligible for matching. Donations made by cheque or text-to-give are not eligible.

For UK donors, please visit http://www.globalgiving.co.uk/projects/alternative-energy-for-nepal/ . Please also click on the Gift Aid option, which gives us 25% additional benefit with no extra cost!

For US and donors in other areas, please visit https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/alternative-energy-for-nepal/

Thank you.

 

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Organization Information

Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness

Location: Lalitpur, Bagmati - Nepal
Website: http:/​/​www.ecca.org.np
Project Leader:
Prachet Kumar Shrestha
Team Leader
Kathmandu, Bagmati Nepal
$20,730 raised of $50,000 goal
 
500 donations
$29,270 to go
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