As I sit here with an energy efficient light bulb illuminating my laptop, it is hard to imagine a life where I could not turn on the lights. That is why I am truly inspired by Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF), an organization that works to provide energy to the 1.5 billion people around the world living in energy poverty.
Energy produced by fossil fuels is expensive, and those living in poverty around the world do not live with the luxury of electricity and clean water on demand. But solar can produce energy at no cost for these areas of the world.
That is why SELF is currently on a mission to provide clean drinking water, pumped by solar power, to a rural village in Benin, West Africa. Help them early a permanent place in the Global Giving organization among 265 other organizations who are working to achieve this goal.
They are so close to their goal of raising $5,000! Only $955 left to go, but less than FOUR DAYS to do it! Just $15 will provide 1 family with clean water! Please consider making a donation today. Deadline is JUNE 30.
Here is more information about the effort:
Villagers in northern Benin are in dire need of clean, safe drinking water. Families rely on water from streams and open wells that are easily contaminated, leading to the spread of water-borne disease which accounts for 19 percent of deaths annually. Children are especially susceptible. SELF is installing a new solar-powered water pump in Kalale and needs your help.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
Few sources of potable water are available to villagers in Benin. Women wait in line for hours, or arrive in the middle of the night to pump water. For some the walk is too far. As a result, villagers rely on open wells that are easily contaminated and streams that are used for bathing and laundry, including cloth diapers. During the dry season, these water sources dwindle, and the water becomes even dirtier, leading to increased illness.
How will this project solve this problem?
We will install a new, ultra-reliable and efficient solar-powered potable water system for villagers in Northern Benin. This pump will steadily draw water as long as the sun is shining, drawing higher volumes of water than a village is able to pump manually (by hand or foot). Water will be pumped into a sealed tank, eliminating the risk of contamination. During the dry season, when the sun is brightest, the pump will be even more efficient.
Potential Long Term Impact
Hand and foot pumps have been installed in many villages throughout the region. However, because they have mechanical parts and are manually operated, they can break. Villagers lack the tools and capacity to fix them, and so the wells end up abandoned. Our solar-powered pump requires virtually no maintenance (only cleaning) and will be installed by a local team of skilled engineers that is able to maintain the system for the long-term. This means a healthier community for decades to come.