Charity bringing solar light to typhoon-hit Philippines

An Estonian charity is to install 2,000 makeshift solar lights in the Philippines. The region is still recovering from the super typhoon Haiyan. Figures released this week put the death […]

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An Estonian charity is to install 2,000 makeshift solar lights in the Philippines.

The region is still recovering from the super typhoon Haiyan. Figures released this week put the death toll from the natural disaster at nearly 6,000.

The lights are made from recycled plastic bottles, filled with water and a little bleach to keep them clean. Holes are cut in the corrugated iron roofs of houses and the bottles are then inserted and sealed in place.

As sunlight from outside passes through the bottles it is amplified, giving off the same amount of light as a 40-60 watt bulb. A Brazilian, Alfred Moser, originally came up with the idea for the light in 2002.

Estonian non-profit group Andakidz will bring the lights to the Philippine island of Bohol, which was also hit by an earthquake a month before typhoon Haiyan swept through the country.

Local partners on the island will make and put up the lights. Some are headed for schools and small businesses but most (90%) will go to the homes of poor people.

Project Director, Robin Gurney said: “On Bohol, poor families live in very small and dark homes. These simple, cheap up-cycled solar light bottles will bring light to thousands of people with no opportunity to use electricity.”

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