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Currently, there are about 1.32 billion people worldwide living without electricity*, mainly in the developing countries of Asia and Africa. Many homes in these regions use kerosene lamps for lighting, but these lamps pose the risk of fire and their smoke is also harmful to human health.
Since kerosene lamps also do not provide sufficient light, they significantly restrict what people can do at night while creating considerable hazards for them. The lack of electric light in these regions means challenges in the areas of healthcare, education and the economy.
* IEA World Energy Outlook, 2012
The origin of Panasonic's solar lantern goes back to 2006.
The Republic of Uganda's Minister of State for the Vice-President's Office visited Japan, and he took a tour of the Solar Ark, our solar photovoltaic power generation facility, which symbolizes of the company's efforts to help realize a clean energy society. After returning to Uganda, the Minister of State sent a letter to us.
In his letter he explained the current situation of the people in unelectrified area in Uganda, that people uses kerosene lamps for lighting despite the serious health problems caused by black smoke produced by kerosene lamps. He indicated that our solar cell technology would be very useful for improving living conditions in these regions.
We began to study how it could use its own specialized clean energy technologies to help solve this problem. This led to the development of the solar lantern.
After that we have improved solar lanterns reflecting users' voices while we have donated and sold solar lanterns in conjunction with NGOs and UN organizations in African and Asian countries.
Children using a solar lantern to study at home (Tanzania)
Panasonic Corporation has launched a 100 THOUSAND SOLAR LANTERN PROJECT. The aim of the project is to donate a total of 100,000 solar LED lanterns to people in regions of the world without electricity, by 2018, the 100th anniversary of the company's founding.
As the first stage in this effort, Panasonic is donating 8,000 compact solar lights to NPOs and NGOs helping to solve social problems in Myanmar(3,000 units), India(5,000 units) along with 2,000 lights to a refugee camp in Africa in FY2012.
in March 2012, Panasonic donated 2,000 solar LED lanterns to organizations who are working to solve social issues in Cambodia. The Cambodian organization to which Panasonic donated the solar lanterns, sent us feedback on how they are being used and some notable examples
Solar lanterns enabled to carry out medical examinations for expectant and nursing mothers and deliver babies, and provide emergency medical care for children during the night at health care centers in villages with no electricity.
(Photo by WorldVision Japan)
As it was dark inside the school buildings even during the day, they made a special metal fitting to set up lanterns so that they can use the lanterns hanging from the class room ceiling.
(Photo by Japan Mine Action Service)
An organization running a small business which manufactures traditional crafts reported that adopting solar lanterns resolved eye exhaustion caused by working in a dark studio, and so improved work efficiency and accuracy
(Photo by Kamonohashi Project)
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