SIRDEP does its Small Share to Bring Light to Cameroon Households without Electricity

SIRDEP has been busy in the field this week distributing the world’s only solar light bulb to households without electricity.  In all, 144 bulbs were donated to Epilepsy and Leprosy patients as well as orphans and vulnerable children in the Batibo, Widikum, and Big Babanki areas (North West Region).

The purpose of the project is to provide households without electricity an alternative to traditional kerosene or wood/kennel chaff-burning lanterns, locally referred to as ‘bush lamps’.  The use of these lamps in household has negative social, health, and environmental impacts. 

As an alternative, Nokero bulbs absorb sunlight and convert that light into energy, which in turn provides an electric charge for lighting the bulb.  This technology bypasses the need for the house to be connected to an electrical grid and significantly reduces dependency on kerosene. 

Building Partnerships as the Key to Success

To carry out the project, SIRDEP has partnered with Nokero (No Kerosene) International, a US based company that produces the bulbs.  The partnership illustrates how private companies/social enterprises can provide sustainable contributions towards social development and environmental protection initiatives.

At the grass roots level, SIRDEP partnered with the Tubah Council who has been working on improving quality of life for Leprosy patients within its jurisdiction, New Hope Village.  The Village has had little prospects of connecting to the existing grid system which has long been a barrier to improving quality of life standards.    

SIRDEP also engaged the Community Development and Epilepsy Foundation (CODEF) to assist in mobilizing participants who suffer from Epilepsy.  The use of kerosene lanterns is particularly dangerous for this population as seizures often interrupt daily routines which can result in serious burning and/or household fires.      

Final Thoughts

SIRDEP will be following up with all 144 participants in late October to assess how the bulbs have been used and to what extent renewable light has affected daily routines.  The follow up visits will focus on measuring the reduction of kerosene used and the extent to which study habits of students are improved.  We hope to illustrate how big of an impact the bulbs can have over diverse segments of the population. 

We are looking ahead to develop a program around the bulbs which impacts a greater number of vulnerable populations and can be sustained over time.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or areas of potential collaboration at sirdepconsult@yahoo.com (please put “Solar Bulb Project” in the subject field)

Links

| Nokero International |

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About SIRDEP
The Society for Initiatives in Rural Development and Environmental Protection (SIRDEP) is non-governmental, not-for-profit making organization in Cameroon head quartered in Bamenda. SIRDEP has a multi-disciplinary team of experienced agronomists, agro-economists, livestock technicians, rural engineers, and natural resource management experts who work together to foster positive, sustainable development. SIRDEP was founded in 1992 and is one of the oldest indigenous NGOs in the North West Region of Cameroon.

2 Responses to SIRDEP does its Small Share to Bring Light to Cameroon Households without Electricity

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great initiative and innovation. How can individuals interested in the solar bulbs acquire them. There might be a big business opportunity.

    • SIRDEP says:

      Thanks for the comment. Yes, we are eploring what our options are regarding future engagement with the company, Nokero. If you could send an email expressing your interest to sirdepconsult@yahoo.com with the title “Solar LIght Bulb Interest”, we will keep in touch with our progress.

      Regards,

      SIRDEP

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