”Solar Tuki“ - IN, ”Wicked“ Kerosene Lamp - OUT
Over 2 million households in Nepal lack access to electricity and use kerosene-based wick lamps (known as tuki in the local language) for household lighting. These tukis pose a fire hazard and the fumes (each kerosene tuki gives off about 250 kg of carbon dioxide every year) harm people’s eyes and lungs and contribute to global warming. Moreover, these lamps use kerosene, which has to be imported and is expensive or unavailable in rural areas.
To improve household lighting and family health in rural Nepal by replacing kerosene lamps with solarpowered lighting sold through an affordable microfinance arrangement.
This project would sell the Solar tuki, an innovative portable solar lamp unit with white LED bulbs, to low income, rural Nepalese households. The LED bulbs offer significant advantages over the traditional tukis: emitting a brighter light, requiring less maintenance, and lasting longer. Since Nepal enjoys an average of 300 sunshine days per year, there would be a ready supply of power without incurring continuous refueling costs (unlike kerosene tukis). One of the greatest benefits, however, would be the elimination of fumes and smoke which would both improve the health of families and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The project team would also set up a microfinance mechanism to enable poor households to buy the Solar tukis. This project expects to reach 800 households within 24 months and 2.4 million households by the year 2015.