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Our projects

Goals we continuously strive to achieve towards a sustainable Lesotho.

Improvement of the situation of target groups

Solar Lights (Pty) Ltd focus has always been on delivery of Renewable Energy (RE) products and services to people in rural areas. The convincing results of that focus – over 10,000 ICS in the rural market – have gained the support and trust of international investors and partners who helped to achieve all objectives described under the Clean Development Mechanism, Gold Standard, Fair trade in a Carbon Credit project, in short (CDM GS)

The Project is about putting in place infrastructure, logistics and reusable energy product finance mechanisms for access by the relatively poor target groups and by raising awareness of reusable energy products with the link to climate change mitigation and food security. The project has generated a considerable number of extra jobs during its realisation and it is expected to lead to more jobs upon project completion. Communities are visiting our premises to ask for project extension to their areas! The demand is generated by the positive stories people get from the current user group of our systems of over 10,000 and another 10,000 of a successful competitor in the market.

The basic philosophy is to empower rural communities through the establishment of Reusable Energy User Groups (REUG) and expansion of existing Stove User Groups (SUG)s, allowing for development paths prioritised by the beneficiaries themselves

The current situation is, that most villages in the rural areas are not connected to the electricity grid (and will never be established, even not in the long run) and that the target groups solely depend on available biomass, gas and paraffin for their basic energy needs. With 85% of the energy needs covered by decreasing biomass resources an alarming situation has grown in which soil erosion is threatening the mere herding culture of the Basotho people. The stress on the environment through overgrazing and biomass extraction needs to be halted, before it is too late for fuel biomass is complete lost and people have to change to imported, expensive charcoal or LPG, which will drive people into poverty

The situation target groups will improve through the use of RE products.

The usage of the fuel-efficient wood stoves will help to improve:

– the health of the final beneficiaries through reduced indoor air pollution

– safety during cooking through enclosed fire location and stable stove design

– fuel security for the community through less wood consumption

– protection of water catchment areas and water for downstream villages through reduced soil erosion

– less time spent during cooking and water boiling through speedy cooking

– prolonged convenience in cooking with the retained heat cooker (Wonderbox)

– start-ups of small business in catering for schools, events, food processing, animal farming in winter, etc.

– awareness of the importance of planting and managing trees for future generations

– mitigation of climate change by reducing CO2 entering the atmosphere

The usage of the solar systems will help to improve:

– security through lighting in households, schools, institutions and clinics

– education and social activities through lighting and access to internet and media

– communication through cell phone charging, computers, internet

– start-ups of small businesses in battery charging, photo-copying, cooling of food and drinks, internet, etc.

– health services through medicine cold storage, light, communication, security etc.

– access to drinking water and agricultural irrigation with solar water pumping and water storage

– food processing and food preservation

The role of Save80 Climate Protection Group.

The need to organise all stove user groups, independently from Solar Lights became imminent in order to provide sustainability after the Carbon Credit project phases out in 2021. A local NGO called ‘Save80 Climate Protection Group (SCPG)’ was formed and is now legally registered with the Law Office in Lesotho (early 2016). SCPG was shortly after audited under Fairtrade Standard in carbon credits to gain access to the Fairtrade Premium money for the SUGs and SCPG. SCPG has currently over 4,000 members.

The main objective of SCPG is to empower the communities to make decisions, start their own climate protection projects and to improve their livelihoods. As a large NGO, SCPG is able to implement their own projects, affiliate itself with international NGOs to jointly tackle the challenges of rural development under changing climatic conditions.

Energy Shopping Centres(ESC)

We believe that only as a team can we succeed in our mission to build a sustainable Lesotho and empower local communities. That is why at Solar Lights (Pty) Ltd we only employ citizens of Lesotho. With local knowledge and cultural creativity, not only do we find sustainable solutions for the concerns of our customers. Also, we built fully renewable office places for our company. All our offices run on solar energy, and we use our own stoves to cook lunch for our team members. Our main office buildings are very well insulated and save energy as we do not need heating or air conditioning.

For us it is important to set a good example for a sustainable and comfortable lifestyle! Find your solution for a comfortable and sustainable home today.

Support for start-up businesses generation of jobs

During monitoring of the current CDM GS project, it became obvious that some Save80 Stove users started small businesses, some formal (full time) and some informal (part time). The main usage was for catering and for cooking ‘fat cakes’ to the public. Apparently, the cast-iron pot on the Save80 Stove produces the best ‘fat cakes’ in the villages. The fact that people took the initiative to start businesses using RE products is encouraging and is seen as an important added value of the Project, especially in the rural areas where no new business settle easily. The potential for start-up businesses with SHS is more viable as this electricity option – a small solar panel – allows for a range of applications, such as communication-based activities and information exchange on needs elsewhere in Lesotho. Farming families can get access to market prices for cattle and meat.

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