The project aims to reach poor people in remote communities without access to affordable energy and clean drinking water. Each Hub can serve around 1,000 households, especially targeting fishermen, domestic users and shop-keepers. In this framework, five WE!Hub stations will be installed in rural areas without grid-access and strong reliance on agriculture and fishery as the dominant source of income.
People and environment benefit from the project likewise
In rural areas of developing countries, using kerosene lamps is often the only way to generate light needed for domestic use and work. Worldwide, about 77 billion liters of kerosene are burnt for the generation of lighting every year, emitting toxic fumes, which impair people’s health and contribute to an aggravation of climate change. Additionally, spilled fuels into lakes and soils severely impact nature and biodiversity. By replacing kerosene lamps with solar lamps in the project villages, the burning of more than one million liters of toxic fuels could be prevented every year.
Affordable and clean drinking water is another important factor to improve health in areas where water-borne diseases such as cholera and diarrhea still affect and kill a large number of people, particularly children. A reliable and safe water supply also contributes to improved education as especially young girls don’t have to spend most of their day time walking long distances fetching water.
Saving money and creating job opportunities
Even more important for the local communities: the WE!Hubs not only mean an improvement of health and living conditions, but also saving money. This is crucial, considering that the target groups are poor families, often living under the poverty line. Lighting is inevitably needed for domestic use and work and many of those families are forced to spend more than two-third of their income on the purchase of kerosene. By using the solar-operated lamps they can save up to 30% of their money. This can be invested elsewhere, for example in improved nutrition, clothing or education.
The affiliated Internet-cafés offer interested users the opportunity to do internet-trainings through an officially approved provider, for example in social entrepreneurship. This gives people from remote areas – where the supply of advanced training is often very bad – not only access to modern means of communication but also the possibility to qualify themselves in different fields, essentially improving their chances for employment and regular income.
Additionally, the operation of the WE!Hubs creates permanent jobs for people from local communities, giving them the chance to improve their livelihood and that of their families through a regular income. Coevally, people can build up their own small businesses by offering the transportation of lanterns, batteries and drinking water to and from remote villages.