This Christmas give a gift to the planet, a gift to a family and a gift to the future.
The National Development Plan, Millennium Development Goals, Poverty Relief, Energy Access for the poor, are buzzwords that require actions to become meaningful.
MamaEarth’s RE-LIGHT program actions all these goals. We provide a renewable energy package to replace candles, limit the use of paraffin stoves, cut down biomass harvesting and enable people to cook with a fraction of the energy normally used. The package comprises a photo voltaic system with three LED lights which can run off a battery for 12 hours, a healthy and sturdy biomass cook stove and a wonder bag. Working with a children’s After Care Centre in Alex and the Jo’burg Red Cross we register people for the RE-LIGHT package. A donation of R1300 sponsors one package.for a family and provides them with heat for energy efficient cooking, and lights for reading, studying, cellphone charging and visibility, without any further costs to the owner except for healthy biomass fuel. Those who cook indoors and prefer their paraffin or gel stove would use only the wonder bag and the LED light-box, but still require far less fuel. Even people with electricity find the package a boon, saving them R0.88 per kWh for prepaid electricity. Using the RE-LIGHT package makes social, environmental and economic sense.
THE SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL CASE
FIRES, BURNS AND DEATHS There are approximately 1.8 million shacks in SA and 2.5 million homes without electricity ( SAIRR survey) Thousands of homes or shacks are destroyed each year by fires started by candles, paraffin stoves and lamps. According to Wikipedia there are an estimated 10 shack fires per day in SA with someone dying as a result every other day. 15,000 children are hospitalized each year due to burns. AIR POLLUTION, ILLNESS, LACK OF OPPORTUNITY, DEFORESTATION
People without access to electrification in rural or peri urban areas, and in urban informal settlements heat their homes and cook using open fires and leaky stoves, burning biomass (wood, animal dung and crop waste) and coal or paraffin. The resulting indoor air pollution causes a host of illnesses and worst affected are women and children, who spend the most time near the domestic hearth. According to the WHO nearly 50% of pneumonia deaths among children under five are due to particulate matter inhaled from indoor air pollution. In older persons with chronic exposure to such pollution obstructive respiratory disease (COPD) develops. The lack of access to electricity for households also limits opportunities for development, such as studying or engaging in small crafts and trades, which require adequate light. Harvesting of wood for open fires depletes natural forests and contributes to climate change.
THE FINANCIAL CASE
The cost of candles is R3 each hence using 3 candles per dwelling per night for 360 days a year would cost R3240. The cost of paraffin is R13 per litre, the stove costs R280 and it uses 250ml per hour. Using it for one hour a day would hence cost R2160 annually. . Candles and paraffin combined cost R 5400, whereas the renewable energy package is paid forward at R1200 and thereafter requires only biofuel or charcoal bricks and sunlight. Choose, or let us choose your recipient and partner with MamaEarth and the Red Cross to bring RE-LIGHT to South Africa’s vulnerable citizens. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the form on our web site at http://www.mamaearth.org.za/contribute and make your donation today.