Panasonic lights up Africa
Panasonic Corporation has donated 1 584 solar lanterns to three non-profit organisations (NPOs) working in South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho.
The lanterns were formally handed over to the NPOs (in South Africa: the Nelson Mandela Foundation; Lesotho: Lesotho Catholic Bishops Conference; Swaziland: All Out Africa Foundation) at a ceremony held at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg on March 27.
The donation forms part of the company’s 100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project, which was launched in 2012 and aims to donate a total of 100 000 solar lanterns to the world’s non-electrified areas by 2018.
Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, says: “Lighting [can] contribute to the improvement of everyday life. The Foundation supports Panasonic’s solar lantern project and helps improve the living conditions of people in non-electrified areas by donating lanterns.”
According to a statement from Panasonic, approximately 83 000 lanterns have been donated to 22 countries and of these, about 16 000 units have been delivered to 13 African countries.
At present, approximately 1,2 billion people (16 percent of the world population), are living in areas without electricity, of which approximately 600 million people reside in African countries.
“Although many households in these areas without electricity use kerosene lamps for lighting,” continues the statement, “their smoke poses a health hazard and exposes them to the risk of fire.”
In addition, “by using solar lanterns, children will be able to learn safely and women’s groups can engage in activities at night that create income for the community.”