‘Share the Sun project’
Heavy floods hit Malawi in early January 2015 affecting 638,000 people countrywide, causing loss of 104 lives and the displacement of 230,000 people. Farmland and homes were submerged, forcing people to move to higher ground. A lot of families lost everything they owned. Solar lights enables families to cook and pupils to do their homework at night. Most of the affected families use normal cooking fire or candles for lighting which is not only expensive but also poses a fire risk. Asked about solar lamps it was said, “We would love solar lamps as they would give lighting longer in the homes and are much more economical. We will no longer need to buy candles”.
Habitat For Humanity Malawi distributed 1000 WakaWaka solar powered lamps donated by the WakaWaka community through the Share the Sun humanitarian crisis projects. The idea was to promote the use of cheaper sustainable lighting and elimination of the use of kerosene lamps and candles which have massive health and environmental drawbacks. As most of the disaster-affected people had relocated from the camps, the distributions took place at relocation sites: Layitoni 2 in Chikhwawa District and Kadyamba and Motor Engil in Nsanje District on 8th and 9th September 2015.
More homework hours at night to study
Mary Tchuzi, a 14 year old girl from Layitoni 2 site who goes to school at Jombo had these words about WakaWaka lights, “With this solar lamp I can do my school work for some hours at night rather than using my father’s phone torch which never lasted long and provided poor lighting.” In the area, over 50% of the beneficiaries have school-going children.