Thursday, 9 December 2010

D.light solar lanterns attracts wide interest at BA's conservation day

British Airways' Communities and Conservation Day showcased a range of projects it supports (including the Ashden Awards) in the atrium of their offices at Terminal Five. Throughout yesterday, BA staff mixed with 34 NGOs, charities and social enterprises. Suzy and myself were there and found plenty of interest in d.light lanterns.

Amigos is a charity working with young people in Uganda. It has introduced d.light lanterns at its training centre, Kira Farm. Amigos director Phil Pugsley said that each day the cook Mary lays out 15 Nova lamps in their field to charge in the sunlight, in the evenings they light up the main rooms. In a country where load shedding is common practice, this reliable source of energy makes all the difference. What's more, Phil explained, there's a health benefit to solar lighting:

“Currently we can’t give our children mosquito nets because of the fire risk. If they used kerosene lamps, the naked flames could catch on the netting and get taken straight up to the thatched roofs. With solar, this risk is gone.”

After inspecting the d.light lanterns on the Ashden stall, Geoff Booker, from the
Quicken Trust asked for contact details so he could see if he could get these lanterns to 1000 students in Kabubbu, Northern Uganda. Geoff said:

“This could make a massive difference to their lives. When the students finally get down to homework, after chores at about nine at night, kerosene is a poor source of lighting.”

Another visitor to the stall, also interested by the d.light lantern, was Nikki from
One, an initiative that supports the building of PlayPumps® in Southern Africa. These water pumps, built in schools are powered by the action of children playing on merry-go-rounds, that brings water up from underground.

(Pic: Carla speaks to BA staff)

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