Written for MPOWERD Inc. by the International Medical Corps
Conflict and natural disaster uproots millions from their homes every year. While food, shelter, clean water, and medical care are all vital in the throes of humanitarian emergencies, so is energy. Electricity is often scarce, if not completely unavailable, which means families often have to rely on kerosene lamps, firewood, and candles, all of which can create safety and environmental hazards, especially in displacement camps when people are living side-by-side.
It is because of this that MPOWERD and International Medical Corps have partnered to distribute Luci Lights to communities reeling from crisis so that families have access to safe and clean energy. Here are five ways Luci Lights—which can give up to 12 hours of light when charged in the sun—help improve lives in the wake of disasters.
1. Reduces violence against women and girls
When families are displaced from their homes or living in conflict zones, women and girls face a higher risk of rape and sexual assault. Walking through the dark to go to the latrine, for example, can make women and girls more vulnerable to sexual abuse. One way to reduce this risk is to ensure that camps and the areas where they live and visit are well-lit. Luci Lights give women and girls a portable lighting solution.
2. Improves household health
Kerosene lamps and indoor fires can cause health issues like respiratory problems. Luci Lights are clean and smoke-free and do not create indoor air pollution like other lighting solutions can. Small children are also better protected against burns from flames and open fires.
3. Supports children’s education
Without electricity, children in displacement camps often are not able to study at night. With Luci Lights, children can continue to learn and study without the risk of toxic fumes.
4. Lowers fire hazard
Displacement camps are often densely crowded, with tents side-by-side. This means that a fire in one shelter can spread quickly. Luci Lights do not have a fire risk, unlike firewood and kerosene lamps.
5. Helps health care workers
International Medical Corps doctors, nurses, and health care professionals provide health care in some of the most dangerous and difficult environments in the world—often in makeshift field hospitals or mobile medical units that do not have power. Luci Lights provide a safe lighting solution so that patients can be cared for through the night, increasing their access to lifesaving health care services.