See how light reduces poverty and saves lives.
Video from Focus Forward film festival, by Tony Seghal.
1.3 billion people depend on kerosene for light.
Kerosene causes 1.5 million deaths annually
A major cause of burns and respiratory illnesses, kerosene is responsible for the deaths of 1.5 million people each year. With kerosene smoke inhalation equivalent to 4 packs of cigarettes per day, asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia and cancer are common in rural households. Worse, without light, clinics are unable to treat these severe illnesses except during sunlight hours.
Half a family’s income is wasted.
Although it provides inadequate illumination, families spend up to half of their income on kerosene.. Globally, these impoverished families burn an estimated $36billion to illuminate homes. Due to transportation costs, kerosene is most expensive in the rural areas that need it most, and women to walk long distances to purchase the fuel. Kerosene lighting is not the solution.
Pollution hurts our environment.
A typical kerosene lamp emits over 100 kg of carbon each year. All together, fuel for lighting results in 190 million tonnes of carbon emissions per year. And the black carbon emitted by kerosene not only harms human lungs, but when released to our atmosphere, absorbs hundreds of times more heat that regular carbon pollution. Kerosene lanterns harm our environment.
Light gives people a future.
Light improves health.
Solar light keeps air clean and lungs healthy. It enables doctors to provide medical attention at any hour of the night. Maternal mortality rates during childbirth decrease when light is available. Even in the most impoverished communities, a solar light keeps families healthy.
Light provides education.
Children with access to clean, safe light get more out of their education. Solar lighting in India nearly doubled childen’s study time and greatly improved school performance, by allowing children to continue school work after sundown. Kids in unelectrified communities could finally compete with their more urban peers, and give their community a chance for a prosperous future.
Solar light provides better illumination than kerosene. Outdoor shopkeepers stay open longer, and attract more customers. Farmers safely tend to livestock. Textile workers continue weaving and sewing past sundown. Kerosene savings and increased income affords families the food, clothing, and medicine they need to thrive.
You can help!
Read founder Anna Sidana’s essay about OML’s solution.