New survey of rural Haitians documents multiple benefits of solar lights
NEW YORK - A new study by the GlobeScan Foundation and MPOWERD demonstrates the significant improvements in quality of life that solar lights can deliver for rural Haitian families. The research was conducted to evaluate and measure the impact of MPOWERD’s Luci inflatable solar lantern on economically disadvantaged families living in rural Haiti.
According to the report (download here), 98% of Haitians who received a Luci inflatable solar lantern reported that the lantern replaced the need for kerosene-based lighting in their homes. For these families, eliminating their reliance on this toxic fuel freed up income to purchase valuable goods and reduced the reported level of pollution within their homes with more than 90% of families citing a decline in both breathing problems and eye irritation.
The study revealed that Luci solar lanterns also made Haitians feel more secure. In addition to feeling safe while walking around their homes in the evenings, more than 90% of respondents reported fewer fire hazards, burns and incidences of theft during the evening hours.
According to the report, Luci solar lights also promoted healthy living and enhanced productivity for all members of the family. Of the surveyed families, more than 80% of adults reported being able to complete more work and reading during the evening hours relative to life before Luci. This enhanced productivity was also beneficial for children with 94% of families reporting a boost in grades at school.
In July of 2013, MPOWERD partnered with the NGO Soleil Global to distribute Luci solar lights to hundreds of Haitians in an effort to replace the kerosene lamps typically used to light their homes. A survey of more than 100 recipients, developed by GlobeScan, was administered both at the point of distribution and again four months later to assess the impact of the Luci solar light on a range of quality of life issues.
Doug Miller, President of the GlobeScan Foundation, said, "It is clear from this research that the Luci solar lights initiative has significantly improved the quality of life of recipient households in Haiti." He added, "My colleagues and I have been honored to apply our social science expertise to help MPOWERD evaluate this excellent initiative."
"The genesis of MPOWERD and our double bottom line orientation was based on our expectation that the benefits for end users would be significant and could be qualified – especially in the most rural, technologically lagging parts of the world,” said Jacques-Philippe Piverger, CEO and Co-Founder of MPOWERD. “We knew deep down that the impact was real, so it was a great privilege to partner with GlobeScan to substantiate our beliefs quantitatively by demonstrating the positive impact of Luci on those living in energy poverty."
Luci lights were developed with the aim to eradicate Energy Poverty through Solar Justice. The collaboration between MPOWERD and GlobeScan demonstrated that Luci solar lanterns do indeed positively impact the lives of Haiti’s poor. As a 20 year old surveyed male from the town of Mirebalais said, “Life is better with Luci.”
MPOWERD Inc., headquartered in New York City, develops and manufactures brilliant, transformative clean energy products and solutions to light up and empower the lives of those living and playing off-the-grid the world over. As a Benefit Corporation, MPOWERD strives to eradicate Energy Poverty through Solar Justice. www.mpowerd.com