How One Dollar Lights Up Africa
The success of the WakaWaka Solar Lamp
Released on: December 07, 2011, 12:00 pm
Camille van Gestel
Haarlem, the Netherlands – In the beginning there was light for all – and a little later there was electric light for, well, only some of us: 1.5 billion people still live in darkness. Dutch startup Off-Grid Solutions makes an end to developing countries' killing kerosene dependency. They want their high-tech, low-cost WakaWaka solar LED lamp to light up Africa ‘like a Christmas tree'.
Via Kickstarter.com, the general public is now enthusiastically pre-ordering WakaWaka´s for 35 dollars each. The minimal support to contribute to their mission is one dollar. Thanks to this innovative way of crowdfunding, WakaWaka grows at the speed of light . And with it, the dream of providing all Africans with a sustainable light solution becomes more real by the minute.
1.5 billion people live off-grid. They depend on kerosene fuel for their basic lighting needs. Annually millions of children suffer severe burns from accidents with kerosene lamps. The toxic fumes cause even more health problems. World Bank reports that each day 780 million women and children inhale the equivalent of two packs of cigarettes as a result of indoor air pollution.
Fuels for lighting take up to 20% of income of people who try to survive on less than $2 a day. This way, the poor stay poor. But there is light at the end of the tunnel: WakaWaka solar LED light.
The WakaWaka ('Shine Bright' in Swahili) solar lamp uses the latest in patented solar technology developed by Intivation, allowing for superior charging in any weather conditions.
Each day of free solar charging gives 16 hours of decent reading light. It has different light intensities and fits on a bottle, stimulating recycling and opening up opportunities for joint promotions. Innovative distribution methods will reach even the most remote rural areas. Various accessories (cell phone chargers, radios, etc.) are already in development, which will further enhance livelihood and help people get out of poverty.
Co-founder Camille van Gestel: ‘I genuinely believe that if you can make a difference, you must. I have never done anything with so much passion. The support and inquiries we are receiving for WakaWaka from all over the world are as stimulating as they are heartwarming. We are doing the right thing.'
Let's hope this new bright light spreads fast, for all and everybody. LED there be light.
About Off-Grid Solutions
Founded in 2011 by 4 partners: sustainable entrepreneur, inspirator and guru Maurits Groen, hands-on change maker and entrepreneur Camille van Gestel, carbon emissions consultants Do-Inc, experts emerging markets and finally Paul Naastepad seasoned executive in clean tech industry.
Mission of Off-Grid Solutions is to provide workable, sustainable and affordable solutions to people who live, work or recreate off-grid. These can be families living in developing countries, but also outdoor and camping fanatics. Off-Grid Solution develops, manufactures and distributes and seeks cooperation with organizations and companies who have already established a considerable distribution footprint in emerging markets. Currently Off-Grid Solutions is seeking seed capital to fund the initial phase of their start-up: going to market.
Off-Grid Solutions BV i.o.
2011 VM Haarlem
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