The University of Nottingham’s Nigerian Students’ Society has launched the Liter of Light Nigeria charity drive, an outreach initiative which will make sustainable solar lighting accessible to impoverished regions of Nigeria.
Each solar lamp costs £14 to produce and can store up to 10,000 hours of light. Each unit is made from a recyclable plastic bottle that is filled with water. A solar powered torch is attached to the bottle, which effectively turns it into a solar bulb. The units can then be installed on housing with reinforced metal roofs, which are typically common in poorer regions of Africa.
The project will enable students to put their entrepreneurial expertise to the test and raise vital funds for the initiative.
Nigerian-born student Victor Udeozor, the President of the Society and the Liter of Light Project Coordinator said, “We are passionate about making a difference through charitable ventures. This kind of technology is a cheap way to bring value and alleviate the suffering in these rural communities. It will get people to do things that they would otherwise not be able to do and it means there is one less thing to worry about. Children will have light to enable them to study and complete their homework, while parents can use this innovation as a resource to empower themselves.”
Dr Arthur Williams, Associate Professor in Electrical Engineering, who has worked on rural electrification for over 25 years, is supporting the students involved in the project to improve the prototype of the lamp. He said, “The students in the team are using their innovative and technical skills to bring vital energy services to marginalised communities in Nigeria, taking advantage of the affordability of solar and LEDs. Their commitment and enthusiasm are palpable, while their understanding of community needs is certain to bring positive results.”
The University of Nottingham Cascade Fund has pledged £7,300 towards the initiative if the Society can raise £3,000 through Jumpstart, the University’s new crowdfunding platform by Friday 7th Apr 2017. The campaign which was launched on Friday 3rd March 2017, has successfully attracted support on social media. To date, the students have raised £760.
The funds raised will cover the costs of:
- Materials to make the solar lights such as solar panels, batteries and smaller electrical components
- Labour costs of local workers to install the units
- Delivery costs to transport the materials to various locations
The project will culminate in a trip to Makoko, a slum settlement in Lagos this summer, where both the project team and volunteers will set up 400 solar lights and teach the locals how to produce the lights with materials that can be sourced in Nigeria.
The students are aiming to achieve the minimum sponsorship amount of £3,000. To make a donation on the crowdfunding page, go to: https://jumpstart.hubbub.net/p/lol-nigeria
The team are also offering a sponsorship marketing package to businesses looking to support their project in return for unique brand recognition and promotion of sustainability.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK for research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.
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