The challenges of darkness

When the sun goes down at 6pm in sub-Saharan Africa, 548 million people are living in darkness. They have no access to electricity. There is no switch on the wall to turn on the light. This is what energy poverty is.

Families have no choice but to rely on poor alternatives such as homemade torches, candles and kerosene lamps. 

These filthy devices are imperilling health, impairing education, wasting household income and emitting astonishingly high amounts of carbon into the atmosphere.

Worst of all, families have to risk their lives every single night with open flames. This is a preventable loss of human life.

The challenges of Darkness

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The danger of an open flame

For many families, the small amount of light they have often comes in the form of a candle or a kerosene lamp. Their only choice to escape the darkness is an open flame. For these families, candles can lead to terrible accidents.

The price of darkness

Candles, kerosene and poor quality batteries are expensive. Families have to buy these alternatives to electricity because they have no choice.

Polluting the earth

For the 548 million people living without electricity in sub-Saharan Africa, there is not this choice but to use polluting alternatives to escape the dark. A family using a kerosene lamp are essentially burning oil in their own home.

Breathing toxic fumes

Using a kerosene lamp or a crude oil candle at home is essentially burning oil. A kerosene lamp releases thick, toxic smoke into a family’s home. This causes eye strains, chest infections and leads to more serious health impacts. 4 million people per year die prematurely from illnesses attributable to household air pollution.

Pitch black learning

Rural families have to use their light sparingly in sub-Saharan Africa. It is expensive and there is the need to prioritise. For a child’s education this can have devastating consequences.

The people left behind

The poorest people on the planet are the ones suffering from a lack of electricity access the most. The solar market has grown, but the market does not reach everyone.

Ways to support

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