In many rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa, access to electricity is still a dream. Although the grid reaches some urban and peri-urban communities, most people in rural Uganda have no access to safe lighting. Imagine trying to study or do chores in the dark, or using only a candle or a kerosene light. Imagine trying to take care of your family or run a business. Imagine spending up to 30% of your total household income on a small, dangerous, and polluting light that puts you and your children at risk. Let There Be Light International (LTBLI) has helped more than 1 million people living in off-grid African communities by providing solar lighting for their homes and health clinics. Most recently, the non-profit delivered 100 Luci Core solar lights to school children, new mothers, midwives, and others needing critical resources in Uganda.
In partnership with Solar Health Uganda and a generous donation from Wilkinson Supply Co., LTBLI brightened hundreds of lives, making homes safer and helping to increase the financial stability of vulnerable households through reduced spending on unsustainable, nonrenewable lighting. Sarah Baird, LTBLI’s Executive Director, can attest to the dangers of living in these areas, let alone wandering in the dark. She and her husband, Ben, hand-delivered many lights and inspected 14 solar-electrified off-grid health clinics over a 9-day trek in central and northern Uganda in March 2023.
“Two of the [Luci] Core lights were given to the elders in a village that we hiked to one night in utter darkness,” Sarah shared. “In this area, a 30-foot python is known to live. We could not linger long!”
Students at St. Francis Primary School in Mpigi, Uganda, closely investigating their new Luci lights. Images courtesy of Let There Be Light International.
Progress in improving access to light in these areas is happening, thanks to organizations like Let There Be Light International and Solar Health Uganda, but there’s still work to be done. By visiting the homes of students, it provided a clear understanding of how solar lighting can change lives and greatly improve quality of life and opportunities.
A special thank you to our partners, Let There Be Light International, Solar Health Uganda, and Wilkinson Supply Co., who all made this Luci light distribution possible.