Sun spotlight: providing solar lighting to Uganda's rural cooperatives

$100,000 | Uganda | Stage 1

THE OPPORTUNITY: Leverage existing member cooperatives to provide access to more cost-efficient, cleaner lighting technology.

THE PROJECT:  In Uganda's least electrified district of Kalangala, member owned cooperatives are being formed to help get the lights on. With support from DIV and an additional $37,000 in funding and contributions from other partners, Lighting Rural Uganda with Solar (LRUS), a Ugandan NGO, is working through existing structures at the village level to provide retail credit to households to purchase affordable micro-power solar LED lanterns. LRUS will test this distribution model in an area with low levels of electricity. Cheap and stable light sources allow small businesses to operate longer and children to complete schoolwork after dark.

THE RESULTS: While reducing air pollution, LRUS aims to reduce households' kerosene fuel budget and reduce kerosene lantern related fire accidents as households are able to acquire solar lamps. Using the retail credit cooperatives, households acquired more than 3,400 solar lights for home use. A preliminary, self-reported survey of a small sample suggested that in villages where solar lamps were made available, the sale of kerosene in village kiosks dropped and households reported reduced kerosene use and expenditure on fuel, and the reported incidence of fire accidents fell from 64% in a baseline survey population to 20%.

Last updated: February 19, 2013

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