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May 14, 2014

A Brighter Future in Fiji: Our Crowdfunder Solar Project.

Written By Kirsty Barnby

Island Spirit’s Crowdfunder Solar Project; A Brighter Future in Fiji. June 2014.

Island Spirit and Belmont High School are once again teaming up. This time we are asking people to come forward, dig deep and put some pennies towards a solar unit for Vidawa Community Hall, Taveuni, Fiji.

There is currently no mains electricity on the island and only few villages/houses have solar electricity as the units are so expensive. Government and NGO’s are stepping in slowly to make them more accessible but slowly is the word! In the mean time kids can’t read after dark without kerosene lamps and the odd solar lantern.

Negatives of kerosene

  1. Kerosene lamps can kill. In 2013 a five year old boy from an outer island died from first degree burns. His burns came from an exploding kerosene lamp as he helped out in the house.
  2. It is expensive. On average solar lights save rural African families around $70 per year
  3. Black carbon (soot) emitted by kerosene lamps contributes more to climate change than all the CO₂ released in the UK during a whole year.
  4. Inhaling the fumes from a kerosene lamp is the toxic equivalent to smoking 170 cigarettes a year. 

Benefits of solar energy

  1. Reserve energy can go into a central grid.
  2. Money saved from solar is commonly spent on better food, education and farming inputs.
  3. A solar light brings people together and can help make people feel safe and secure in an otherwise dark rural environment. 

Further Reading

(Information thanks to Solar Aid)