Black Diamond Equipment Ltd., in partnership with the Village Lighting Project, has successfully completed lighting Nepal’s Namarkhu Village. As part of a pilot program, over 70 Apollo LED lanterns (along with their rechargeable NiMH AA batteries and NRG Rechargeable Battery Kits) were distributed to all 58 households in the Nepalese village. In addition, a donation from Patagonia helped purchase the solar charging system offering enough capacity to charge at least 12 lanterns a day.
“Here at Black Diamond, we are always seeking ways to innovate,” says Peter Metcalf, Black Diamond CEO / President & Co-Founder. “Whether it’s research and design associated with our product or the sports that we so passionately follow; Black Diamond continually strives to improve the quality of life around us. We are proud to be a part of this exciting project which we hope improves peoples’ lives in the villages of Nepal and elsewhere in the world.”
The Village Lighting Project seeks to replace kerosene lighting with highly efficient LED lighting solutions that provide much better light, are sustainable and more environmentally friendly while eliminating the health risks of kerosene lighting. The inherent benefits of not using kerosene include significant cost savings to these impoverished villagers, the elimination of health hazards posed by breathing kerosene lamp fumes and reducing the risk of burns and house fires associated with kerosene lamps as well as an overall reduction of CO2 creation. The project is being managed by the village mother’s organization which has now grown stronger both organizationally and financially. Every household will contribute to the mother’s organization approximately $15 over a 5 month period, which comes out of savings from reduced need to buy kerosene for lighting. After 5 months the project will be paid for and cash savings will stay in every home. With revenues in part generated from the new lighting system, the mother’s organization plans to buy and install a new drinking water system for the village. Other benefits with improved lighting include: improved educational opportunities especially for women and children, eventual higher literacy rates and the ability for people to travel more safely from one village to the next in the dark.
“With upwards of two billion people in our world living off an electric grid and completely relying on fuel based lighting such as kerosene, wood, candles and disposable batteries, our need for better lighting is a given,” says Mitchell Silver, Director of The Village Lighting Project and friend of Black Diamond. “We are very grateful for Black Diamond’s generous support of The Village Lighting Project. This work in progress is a great way for us to help people in areas with fewer resources become more sustainable. The project’s initial significant success will allow for replication in new locations of the Himalayas as well as other regions.”
To learn more, visit Mitch Silver's Village Lighting Project blog at: betterlight.wordpress.com/.
And check out coverage of the project and images on Black Diamond’s Journal at: http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/journal/mountain/knowledge/apollo.
Black Diamond’s Apollo LED lantern features TriplePower LED with 56 lumens (max setting) and is compatible with Black Diamond’s rechargeable NRG Battery Kit (not included) or 4 AA alkalines.
Learn more about the Apollo and Black Diamond’s full line of headlamps and lanterns at http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/shop/mountain/lighting/.