NEPAL – LED Solar Lighting
Many of the trekking routes in the Manaslu region of Nepal pass through numerous small villages, communities isolated from the outside world and living an existence which in many ways has barely changed in centuries. Their traditional way of life has charmed many a trekker passing through, but the reality of life here can be simple and harsh.
Whilst daylight allows time for working in the fields, evenings can be difficult. The only lighting is likely to be from kerosene lamps, which are expensive and can produce noxious fumes which can result in eye and lung infections as well as the ever-present risk of fire which can destroy homes and result in burns to the inhabitants. An alternative is to use battery-powered lights, but batteries are expensive, hard to obtain and difficult to dispose of.
So, the provision of solar lighting in these villages can be life changing.
Villagers can work longer in the fields, since they can eat later in the evening. Their children can spend part of their evenings doing homework, whilst many parents spend time producing craftwork which they can sell. And in villages where solar lighting is installed it is said that there is a reduction in the birth rate, as parents can do other things in the evenings!
Solar lighting, once installed, is re-chargeable and repairable, and can have a life of around fifteen years. The grant by the Derek Moore Foundation will equip 200 households with solar lights in the villages of Lapka, Ripchet, Chumchet and Chak in the Nubri region of Manaslu, helping to change the lives of these village communities.
The Derek Moore Foundation would like to thank KE Adventures who introduced us to this Project.
Val Pikethly, the trek leader who is responsible for delivering the solar lighting to the villages in Nepal, was back from Nepal and in the UK at the end of January. She had with her the first list of the names of the families who are going to receive their solar lights. The list was hand-written by our local contact who had been to the villages.
The lights will be delivered to the households in March. Val will then return to the UK in April and in May will provide a report on the completion of the project.
Nationwide restrictions due to the Covid Pandemic has meant that our solar lighting Project has not been completed on time and we are some months behind our original timetable. But everything is ready to go as soon as the current lockdowns are lifted across Nepal and the various regional governments reopen their own areas.
The Solar equipment has been purchased and shipped to Nepal and some families have received their lighting, whilst the rest of the lights are ready to be sent at earliest possible opportunity. At the moment, however, it is not possible to say by when this Project will be completed.