Sun24, a Florida-based non-profit solar power company, has announced its partnership with Caritas Uganda – the social service arm of the Catholic Church – to offer low-cost lighting to poor families.
Each of the 22 dioceses in Uganda will receive 2,000 solar lights for the churches to distribute to families with no access to electricity, at a very low price. The proceeds will go towards purchasing more lights in the future, and the cost for citizens will be much lower than they currently pay for kerosene.
“Our partnership with Sun24 is easing a great need for the poorest of poor in my country,” said Father Michael Mukasa, Caritas Kiyinda Mityana Diocese, Uganda.
The lights are self-contained units with LED lights in the front, a solar panel on the back, and a battery inside. They are twice as bright as kerosene lights, provide four hours of light per night, and last for over three years.
"With its unparalleled infrastructure, the Catholic Church distributes to the poorest of poor in the most remote areas," said Kevin McLean, President of Sun24. "These families have no access to quality solar products.
“We are transparent in partnering with the Catholic Church. We hope others copy and even improve upon our model."
600 million sub-Saharan Africans lack electricity, and most of them use kerosene which is inherently unhealthy to burn, both for people and the atmosphere. These lamps are having a massive effect on climate change, and the sooner they can be replaced with something sustainable, the better.
"In my diocese, few homes have electricity. Kerosene lamps cause many fires and lung disease. Kerosene is expensive. The Sun24 solar lights are a blessing," said Father Emmanuel Tamale, Kiyinda Mityana Diocese in Uganda.