The Ebola virus in West Africa is highly contagious and symptoms appear 2 to 21 days after infection, meaning many who are infected are unaware. Critical to stopping its spread is ongoing access to radio information on how to identify early symptoms, prevent transmission, what to do and where to go. Rumors are rife, spreading quickly and causing panic and even rioting. Many poor and rural communities have low levels of literacy, don't own working radio sets and can't afford batteries.
Our solar and wind-up emergency radios will provide access to stations reporting 24/7 about the outbreak in Liberia. Community radio stations are broadcasting public health campaigns created locally, with international support. The Liberian government has also established special daily Ebola updates on United Nations radio stations. Lifeline Energy will be working with the UNDP to distribute the radios, which also have an LED light to enable people to see at night. Information saves lives.
Access to information will help halt the spread of the virus and potentially save hundreds, if not thousands of lives in Liberia and the region. The UN estimates that it will take at least six months, if not longer, to get the outbreak under control, making radio access all the more important. Liberia has some of the world's lowest and most expensive rates of electricity. Our Polaris radio-lights do not need batteries, thus providing sustainable 24/7 access to local and international channels.