OML Lights up Navajo Villages
Three quarters of all people living without electricity in the United States – over 18,000 families – reside on the Navajo Indian Reservation in the Four Corners region. These families use kerosene, propane, and firewood for light and heat; they do not have Internet access or the ability to charge cellular phones. Despite a desire for modern energy, many Navajo live as their ancestors did, forgotten by the government and without access to the basic amenities other Americans enjoy. A partnership with One Million Lights will help Elephant Energy establish a new brand, Eagle Energy, to shed light on the forgotten Navajo energy crisis and build a coalition to eradicate kerosene-use on the Reservation.
With 500 solar-powered lights, partners Eagle Energy and Dine Care will initiate an education and outreach campaign for rural Navajo people. This effort will focus on the Eastern Agency of the Navajo Reservation near Grants, NM, including Thoreau, Baca, Pinedale, and Mariano Lake Chapters. According to the 2000 census, these communities have a population of over 5000 Navajo people, of which 40% are below the poverty line and 70% still rely on wood for heating.
Eagle Energy will work with each of these institutions to develop outreach programs to ensure that all community members have access to the donated lighting technologies. Solar powered lights will be available for check-out via school and public libraries so that students and community members without electricity can read at night.
Need: $7,500/ Solar Lights: 500
- Navajo families spend $20-$40 per month on candles.
- Lights will go to the elderly who rely only on kerosene and candles for light.
- Provides security for women at night.
- Reduces harmful fossil fuels.