Sending some sunshine to Haiti: Solar tech donations meet lighting, communications needs

Non-profit hopes to light up Haiti relief efforts with solar technology.

Priority No. 1 in the Haiti recovery effort obviously must be on the human impact. Nonprofit EarthSpark International hopes to support that problem by providing technology to help with a fundamental obstacle to those efforts: the lack of light or electricity in devastated Port-au-Prince. Enter the possibility of solar power, a smarter alternative to diesel generators, which are in limited supply anyway.

The organization is working to organize shipments of more than 50,000 solar lamps, mobile chargers and flashlights into the disaster area. The companies supplying these items include SunNight Solar, SunTransfer, D.Light design and Barefoot Power. It also is provisioning money for solar powered lighting at hospitals; diesel fuel supply is scarce, so solar is helping supplement medical services.

So far, EarthSpark has received commitments for up to 6,500 lamps and 800 chargers, which have already been sent to Haiti. These items are being passed out by Partners in Health and other relief organizations, as necessary. If you think you can help, visit the EarthSpark web site.

Short-term, these items could help save lives. Solar power could also prove a critical component of the Port-au-Prince reconstruction efforts.

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