Benefits of not using kerosene:

  • Eliminating kerosene use means decreasing CO2 creation.
  • More light is generated than can be obtained from kerosene lamps.
  • The health hazard posed by breathing kerosene lamp fumes is eliminated
  • The risk of  burns and house fires from kerosene lamps is eliminated.
  • Economic benefits accrue from the decreased quantity of kerosene purchased by households. Significant cash savings are possible.

Benefits of more and better lighting using LED lanterns:

Carrying wood for cooking

Carrying wood for cooking

  • With significant better lighting wood fires will burn for less time since they won’t use the wood fire for lighting. Some studies have shown that this can result in approximately 20% less wood used. Reduced demand for firewood resulting in less deforestation and the resulting desertification &landslides
  • Because of the potential diminished demand for firewood this should result in significant time saved in collecting wood. The collection of wood is primarily done by women and they would have more time.
  • Better interior lighting has been shown to improve both the health and cleanliness in the home. This has greater impact upon women who spend more time in the house.
  • If the project is part of an integrated development strategy, lighting enables women’s evening literacy classes, cottage industry and more income.
  • Cooking is easier and less stressful with improved light.
  • Children and students are able to study for longer in the evenings with less eye strain.
  • The use of an electric light acts as a stimulus to help keep the local social life active and keep the environment clean.
  • Community-managed electrification through pico-hydro systems also has the ability to provide indirect benefits to the community as a whole, such as stimulating village industry and development of technical skills, and the provision of lighting and refrigeration for health centers. In order to maximize benefits in the community, members need to be provided with information on options that improve individual livelihoods and community equity.
  • Ability to more safely walk outside on the steep and slippery trails to and from the fields and other villages.

Secondary benefits from this project:

  • Solar or pico-hydro power can also be used to charge (rechargeable) batteries, thus removing the practice of using and buying disposable batteries.
  • Cell phone charging would be available.
  • AA batteries would be available for other useful device like radio, headlamps and more.

Some quotes:

  • “More than two billion people or one third of humanity have no access to electricity and are therefore without access to proper lighting. These people rely on fuel-based lighting such as kerosene, animal dung, wood or other carbon-based fuel, as well as other inefficient energy resources such as disposable batteries, candles and imported fossil fuels for running small generators.”
  • “The world bank estimates that 780 million women and children breathing particular laden kerosene fumes inhale the equivalent of smoke from two packets of cigarettes a day. Two thirds of adult female lung-cancer victims in developing nations are non-smokers.”
  • “The kerosene that’s used for lighting alone is an estimated US$48 billion per year industry. Yet fuel based light production is extremely inefficient, dangerous and expensive, and has extensive economic, health and environmental costs, both locally and globally.”
  • “Kerosene is more expensive than electric lighting, at 325 times higher ($/lumen hour of light) than the “inefficient” incandescent bulb, and 1,625 times higher than compact fluorescent lighting. The burning of kerosene causes both indoor and local air pollution, with fuel based lighting responsible for the emission of 244 million tons of carbon dioxide into the environment each year from developing countries.
  • Denuding the landscape in search of wood fuel for lighting is also recognized as a primary environmental problem in the developing world, as well as the release of heavy metals into local environments from the disposal of millions of non-rechargeable dry cell batteries. In a country like Nepal with a population of over 24 million, hundreds of millions of non-rechargeable batteries are discarded directly into the environment
    each year.”
  • “Health effects are serious, commonly including respiratory and eye problems, and death.”
  • “According to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, the single-greatest way to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions associated with lighting energy is to replace kerosene lamps with white light emitting diode (LED) systems in developing countries.”
  • “In the few months we have had the white LED lamps the improvement in the children’s academic performance has been absolutely remarkable!”


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