UAE’s 10,000 solar lanterns to light up thousands of homes
Zayed Sustainability Prize campaign to help off-grid communities in five countries
Ten thousand solar lanterns donated by the UAE will brighten homes in remote villages in five countries, transforming the lives of thousands.
The initiative is part of the ‘Guiding Light’ campaign to provide solar lights to off-grid communities across the world, and launched by the Zayed Sustainability Prize, the UAE’s global award for recognising innovative sustainable solutions.
Over the last decade, the prize has been instrumental in positively impacting the lives of over 307 million people around the world through its 66 winners.
The campaign will transform lives around the world by allowing people to engage in productive activities after sunset, otherwise impossible without artificial lighting, organisers of the prize told Gulf News yesterday.
“These include improving opportunities for students to study after dark and providing home environments that are safer and healthier with pollutant-free light,” they said.
The first phase of the campaign was launched in Bahrain yesterday evening in partnership with Bahrain Bayan School, a 2018 Global High Schools (GHS) category winner of the prize. Following the event, 2,000 solar lanterns will be shipped to Indonesia and distributed among
communities that have been affected by the recent earthquake and tsunami.
Kopernik, a 2016 prize winner, will undertake the distribution in Indonesia, where they will benefit more than 1,179 households and 5,112 people in the villages of Tompe, in Donggala, and Jono Oge in Sigi.
Likewise, similar events will take place in Bolivia, Kenya and Bangladesh in cooperation with the prize winners in those countries, who will distribute the lanterns.
The campaign will conclude with an event in Abu
Dhabi on January 9, 2019. The lanterns from this event will also be distributed. Details will be announced later.
Dr Lamya Fawwaz, director of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, said: “The campaign reflects Shaikh Zayed’s humanitarian vision ... By partnering with our growing network of prize winners, who will provide not only light to homes and medical clinics in rural areas, but safety and greater opportunities that come with it, the campaign provides an opportunity to raise the profile of our prize winners.”