News 2013

Plan International turns to Sunlabob to light up Bokeo province

Sunlabob to implement 300 lanterns through Solar Lantern Rental System in four remote Lao villages

2011-11-Solar lantern-Bokeo-4

This week Sunlabob announced a partnership with the non-profit organization Plan International to launch Solar Lantern Rental Systems (SLRS) with 300 lanterns in four villages of Bokeo Province, a remote, poor area of northwest Laos. The lanterns will be used in Vang Lek, Phouviengxai, Kha Nong and La Ang Tai – all villages with low income levels, poor hygiene and health standards and limited education opportunities.

Sunlabob is supplying, designing and installing the solar lantern systems as well as providing hands-on technical and bookkeeping training for the “pay-as-you-go” rental operational model. The SLRS model employs local Village Technicians (VTs) to maintain and manage the micro-enterprise in a self-sustaining manner.

In alignment with Plan International’s objective of improving the lives, health and education of children, the solar-charged lanterns will replace kerosene lanterns as a cleaner, safer, more affordable and more robust source of lighting for the villagers.

Replacing kerosene-based lighting will eliminate the inhalation of harmful fumes and reduce the potential of accidental fires. The lanterns will also enable adults to carry out productive, income generating activities later in the day and allow children to study schoolwork after dark.

The soon-to-launch solar lantern systems mark Sunlabob’s second time working with Plan International in Laos. In 2011, the two organizations worked in cooperation to introduce a SLRS at a secondary school of 180 students in Bokeo Province. The lanterns displaced a diesel generator used for nighttime study and also provided improved lighting in the student dormitories.

“Safe, reliable and affordable lighting is often overlooked as a key ingredient to effective, sustainable rural development,” said Andy Schroeter, co-founder and CEO, Sunlabob. “We commend the Plan International team for recognizing, and tapping into, the myriad benefits of the solar lantern rental system.”

Sunlabob’s innovative community-based operational models, such as the SLRS, have effectively delivered rural renewable energy and clean water throughout Asia-Pacific, Africa and India.

Additional details about the SLRS can be found here.