Energy poverty is lack of access to clean, safe and reliable sources of energy. Over 3 billion people rely on fuels known to be inefficient and dangerous, causing illness and premature death due to air-quality related health issues. Studies show that basic energy access increases the household budget by 50%. Light is not just a basic human right, but also a tool to change circumstances that break the cycle of poverty.
The Kerosene Problem
Once thought of as an affordable alternative to burning precious local forests, kerosene has been the fuel of choice for cooking and lighting in the developing world. Although seemingly affordable on a day-to-day basis, it costs 25-35% of the family income over a year. Kerosene also causes respiratory disease, which kills more people than HIV/AIDS and malaria combined. More than 700,000 in Africa alone are treated for horrific kerosene burns each year.
The Light Foundation actively supports the World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC) goal of removing all kerosene lamps in Africa by 2030 (estimated at 714 million). The Light Foundation sponsors a range of products and activities to replace kerosene lanterns with solar lights.