Families are benefitting from more affordable lighting, which is also environmentally friendly.

In Bangladesh, Islamic Relief is providing families with solar lights. The lights soak up the sun during the day and this is converted into power that gives them light after sundown. The solar-powered lights are an alternative to kerosene lantern, and cost less than a tenth over a year-long period.

Aklima Khatun, 35, is one of the people who has been given an solar-powered lamp. Her eight-year-old daughter Lata studies using the light and no longer has to strain her eyes over textbooks as the light is fading.

“It’s not just a light, but a light of hope,” said Aklima Khatun.

“For many years I had been asking my husband to buy a solar light but he couldn’t because he works as a day labourer and it would cost more than he can afford.”

The solar lights are being provided by Islamic Relief as part of a scheme to promote a sustainable and resilient future through the reduction of Carbon Emission. Already 750 solar panels and lanterns have been installed in as many homes. Solar power is becoming popular as a low cost mitigation approach to climate change. Solar power can also run radios, and charge mobile phones, for example, which are vital sources of information.

Other aspects of the project include training volunteers in promoting and using early warning systems so villagers can prepare or evacuate when cyclones, tsunamis, floods and droughts are reported, and training in first aid and search and rescue to help in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. School safety plans are being drawn up to increase the resilience of schools to climate shocks.

Bangladesh is prone to natural disasters and Islamic Relief is working hard to help reduce the effects of climate change in the country. We share research and work with communities on disaster preparedness.