Friday, June 28, 2013

Solar Lamps for Rural Rwanda...

UOB staff testing the lamps
Rwanda has only 16% of population access to power grid connection. The country has a100 mega watts capacity installed but 87.5 MW available. 50-60% of them are hypro power including imported hydro power. The solar energy accounts for less than 1%. Kigali, the capital, seems to have adequate lights but rural Rwanda is still far short of the power.

Rwanda is close to the equator and it enjoys the sun light pretty much all the time. It is God's blessing.

An easy solution to address the power shortage in Rwanda? Absolutely! It is the solar energy. But its supply is minimal.

With this conviction, UOB has decided to supply strong solar lamps to its clients in rural areas. UOB will partner with Great Lakes Energy that will supply Sun King solar lamps, starting from Musanze. The solar lamps are strong enough to handle the fall onto the concrete floor without breaking. It may be hand-held like flashlight or placed on a stand in the room. Fully charged, it lasts up to eight hours. There is an indicator of time left so that people can manage the usage. Also, it can charge the telephone battery.
Clients testing the solar panel joyfully
I am excited about what it will do to the rural families. Now children can study in the evening. The families do not have risk their children with the kerosine smog and fire hazard. Moreover, this solar lamp of $50 can pay back within two months and without any additional cost, unlike kerosine, for as long as it lasts, probably five years. The solar panel or the battery may have to be replaced after five years.

We are also considering distributing solar chargers that may even bring income to families.

It is my prayer that more Rwandans in rural areas may benefit the lights from these solar lamps and/or solar chargers. It is even stronger prayer that they may see and experience the true light: Jesus.

"And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light." (Genesis 1:3)

"In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it." (John 1:4,5)

"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12)

Furthermore, Jesus said that we are the light also in the world. But we should be reflecting the true light, Jesus. Our good deeds reflecting the true light will bring God the Father the glory that He deserves.

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neigher do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds praise your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16)
- Jeffrey      

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