Conservation & environment

Piaya: Solar Bottle Lights

19 April 2013

Next week I am travelling to Piaya, in Loliondo, with Jim Clements, the country director of Raleigh International, to install some solar bottle lights into some local Maasai homes. As anyone who have ever been inside a Maasai Manyata (home) knows, they are incredibly dark. We are going to take a concept started in the Philippines, and see how it works in the Serengeti!

The concept is amazingly simple – take an empty plastic bottle, fill it with mineral water and a few drops of bleach, and cement it halfway through a small metal roof sheet (the kind used as roofs in wealthier area of Tanzania). Then cut out a small piece of the actual roof, place the sheet with the bottle on top of the hole, cement/seal any cracks, and during the day there is light in homes. I love this concept for a number of reasons, firstly reusing and reducing waste generated by the tourism industry (water plastic water bottles), and secondly it is incredibly effective and cheap to make.

I will keep you all posted on how it goes!

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