Turning on the Lights: Transcending Energy Poverty Through the Power of Women Entrepreneurs
The survey’s findings demonstrate that solar lanterns’ effects on end users are far more comprehensive and far-reaching than providing light. With solar lanterns, students have a reliable, bright light to use for their studies and show significant improvement in their education. Families are relieved of the damaging health effects from kerosene and no longer risk burns and home fires from kerosene lamps. Households experience financial benefits by ceasing the use of costly kerosene, growing existing businesses, and starting new businesses. Further, individuals have more time in their day due to increased lighting hours and elimination of travel time to obtain kerosene. Some solar lanterns do more than provide light: they can also charge cell phones. And all these benefits combine to create intrinsic changes in individuals’ sense of agency and power.
The data and stories presented here are intended to help illuminate the potential of solar lanterns to improve livelihoods in rural Tanzania and beyond.