Having access to a solar light transforms lives in villages like Zeze. Children are able to read and study after dark, and families are not forced to burn expensive and poisonous kerosene in order to see. This leads to many problems:
Air pollution: When kerosene burns it emits a thick black smoke which is bad for the environment and for people’s health. Air pollution kills more people per year than HIV and Malaria combined. Spending a few hours with a kerosene lamp causes the same damage to someone’s lungs as smoking 40 cigarettes. It can also cause eye infections.
Fire: Kerosene lighting causes a serious fire hazard because the lamps are easily knocked over and the fuel is highly explosive. Schools and homes have been burnt down and people killed because of fires caused by kerosene lamps.
Global warming: An average kerosene lamp emits 340kg of CO emissions a year, contributing to global warming. Other sources estimate the unburnt particulates from kerosene lamps as contributing to 3% of global black carbon emissions.
Expensive: Families often spend 10 – 15% of their household income on kerosene – locking them into a cycle of poverty. Many children use them to do their homework and to study in the morning or after sunset. However, their parents often cannot afford enough kerosene and have to ration it to provide light for cooking, farming and other tasks.
Poisonous: Kerosene is a clear liquid and is sold in plastic bottles, children often mistake it for water and this can cause serious illness.
Poor lighting: The light given off by a kerosene lamp is dull and flickers. This causes eye strain when reading and means that families have little quality time together after dark. To see well using a kerosene lamp you have to sit very close to the light, which increases exposure to the noxious fumes.
So thank you again for your donation that is transforming lives in Zeze, and best wishes for the festive season.
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