NGO suggests solar lamps during power outages. Green initiative introduced in 81 provinces. Training locals to create lamps and panels.

Solar lamps to the rescue.

PICS: My shelter foundation

PICS: My shelter foundation

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When Herbert Spencer, used the term survival of the fittest in relation to Darwin’s evolutionary theories, he might not have been aware of the vast application of the term.

The resourcefulness of the human race combined with its intellect has made it the dominant species on the planet. The last vital ingredient for survival is necessity which leads to discoveries and inventions.

All the great inventors or discoverers werenot necessarily bright; they were definitely resourceful.

Closer to home, we have Illac Diaz, Head of the My Shelter Foundation. He is neither an inventor nor a discoverer; just a resourceful person driven by necessity.

A resident of Isabella Province, his suggestion of using solar powered lamps during power failures. In a country bearing the brunt of natural calamities of all types, the suggestion is indeed a solution.

Frequent storms plunge large portions of the provinces into complete darkness creating problems of mammoth proportions. Once the masses are equipped with solar lamps, power outages will not effect visibility during night.

Elaborating on its usage, Diaz said that its panel, recharged for 5 hours, lasts for a whole day. Hence, all they have to do when a strom strikes is to switch on these lights and get rid of the darkness.

Moreover, apart from the individual hand-held variety, solar lamps installed on towers can be used to light up the outdoors. The only thing that is required is to place them strategically so that visibility is reasonable.

Hence, My Shelter Foundation arranged a demonstration at Barangay Cabiseria on Thursday; it was witnessed by more than 1000 residents. The initial plan is to install 10 of these lights at Barangay Cabiseria and 10 at Palanan, a coastal town.

My Shelter Foundation have launched a project called the Liter of Light. It trains residents to react whenever a storm is imminent or beginning. In fact, they may be required to assemble the gasera in the face of an approaching storm.

How it works

Illac Diaz, the Head of the My Shelter Foundation explained that Isabela is badly affected by typhoons frequently. As such, there is a need to equip the people of this province to fight such frequent calamities, he stated.

A meet was organized by the foundation to highlight its project. Also present on the occasion were:
1. Thelmo Cunanan Jr, Consul at the Honorary Consulate of Georgia in the Philippines, and
2. Miss Earth 2016 Katherine Espin of Ecuador.

It has a set of rechargable batteries which are generic in nature; they are easily available locally. A Copper board is used with LED bulbs wired to miniature solar panels.

To make the residents self sufficient in handling the solar panels, adequate training is provided by the foundation. They are trained in the preparation and conducting repairs of the solar lamps and panels.

The organizers describe the project as an open sourced movement. The aim is to equip tenements with thin roofs with cost-free lighting and ecologically sustainable solar lamps.

The foundation usesd an enterprise model to provide succor to economically disadvantaged communities, Diaz said. We also provide solar lights that are highly affordable.

The main problem during storms is that the electric posts get uprooted disrupting power for long periods of time. The poor residents used kerosene lamps during extended power outages.

But, Diaz stated, these solar powered lamps costing between P500 to P100 last as much as 5 years. In fact, the foundation empowered the communities to make it a commercially profitable proposition.

Raw materials for making these lamps and panels were easily available; they could create a regular source of income. But, the foundation could not do it alone, Diaz clarified.

If the community came forward, they could generate green energy with indigenously produced products, he said. Once the production started, it can pave the way for a brighter future for the resourceless poor.

My Shelter Foundation is working along with like minded philanthropic organizations to empower the poorer communities. They are supported by the Vice Governors’ League of the Philippines to popularize the production of solar lamps.

Consequently, the two organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding for providing technology and training to the masses. Vice Governor of Isabela, Antonio Albano informed that this project is being introduced in 81 provinces nationwide.

The main advantage of this project is that Green Energy is being popularized. Consequently, we are requesting a donation of P10 for helping the poor rural develop a source of livelihood.

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Umrao Singh
Written for: Lars-Magnus Carlsson.
Saturday, May 13, 2017