Solar Power Brings Hope to Ugandan Refugee Camps

picture 2 d.light solar home system user may 2024. credit d.light (003)

Photo Credit: d.light

by | May 14, 2024

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Founded in 2007 at Stanford University, California, D.light has become a global leader in providing transformative and affordable products to low-income families worldwide. The company’s impressive portfolio includes solar lanterns, solar home systems, televisions, radios, and smartphones, with sales of nearly 30 million products impacting over 150 million individuals globally. With a visionary goal, d.light aims to transform the lives of one billion people by 2030 through sustainable product solutions.

D.light is currently implementing a project that delivers subsidized solar home systems to refugees displaced by conflicts in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, now residing in camps across Northern and Western Uganda. This effort is part of a broader campaign to distribute 23,000 solar home systems to these communities, significantly enhancing their living conditions.

The funding for this project comes from a USD $3.4 million grant provided by the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU)—an entity composed of business associations, companies, and public sector agencies—and Energising Development (EnDev), an international collaboration facilitated by the governments of Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Switzerland to improve social, economic, and environmental conditions by offering access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy sources.

Launched in April, this year-long initiative leverages results-based financing, ensuring that d.light receives funds solely for the units successfully installed. Each solar home system includes three high-efficiency LED lights, an FM radio with MP3 playback, mobile phone charging capabilities, and a portable solar flashlight, drastically improving its users’ daily lives.

Douglas Gavala, d.light’s Managing Director for Uganda, shared insights into the project’s significant impact. “With this grant, we can expand the important work we’re doing to improve living conditions for underserved refugee communities from South Sudan, the DRC, and elsewhere who are living in refugee camps in Uganda,” he explained.

Solar home systems keep families informed of news via the radio, support children’s education by providing light for reading and studying after sunset and help extend working hours for tradespeople and small businesses, contributing to economic empowerment in these communities.

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