One in four Filipinos, about 20 million people, lacks access to electricity. Millions more do not have reliable connections to power or safe water to drink. Most of these communities are located in remote, rural villages, isolated in coastal or mountainous areas. Without electricity, communities lack the basic resources for development, trapping them in a cycle of poverty, illness, and environmental detriment.
Kerosene, the fuel most commonly used in place of electricity, is a costly, inefficient, and dangerous alternative. Families spend approximately 10% of thier monthly income on kerosene, and 40% of those who use kerosene experience mild to severe burns.
At HSSi, we frame the problem not as a shortage of existing solutions, but as an issue of sustainable access.
Families and Mothers
Farmers and Livestock Owners
Small Business Owners
Families continually spend 10% of their monthy income on kerosene. Not only is kerosene a drain on their potential livelihood, but it also is a safety hazard to families, causing severe burns and releasing poisionous fumes.
Without an effective source of light, farmers are unable to protect their crops at night, leaving them vulnerable to pests and larger predators. This significantly reduces the productivity, income, and safety of farmers.
Using kerosene lamps to attract fish at night, fisherfolk have to buy large amounts of kerosene on a daily basis. With a solar-powered light, they would save money, increase their catch, and eliminate the risk of burns and fires.
Without any electricity to provide light after the sun goes down, small business owners are forced to close down their shops at night. If they could gain a safe source of light, then small business owners could greatly increase their livelihood.
Like small business owners, craftspeople have to stop working once the sun goes down. A reliable source of light could dramatically increase the amount of hours available to work, increasing income.
Depending on the amount of natural light, it is often difficult to read and teach in a classroom with little light. With a well lit classroom, students are more capable of learning the material presented by teachers.
Why does the access gap exist?
Businesses tend not to serve the poor
Building the necessary infrastructure is extremely expensive
Community players need to be organized
Lack of customer awareness/perception
Unavailability of products
Lack of financing
Lack of training and servicing
This problem brings the opportunity for a solution
The access gap is what prevents rural communities from using enabling technologies. Even if they actively sought out these technologies, rural communities could not get them. Our goal is to bridge this gap through effective distribution, financing, servicing, and working with our local and global network of partners.