Likuyani, Kakamega County, Kenya: Royal Philips (AEX: PHI, NYSE: PHG) has inaugurated the second Philips “Community Light Center” in Kenya at the Likuyani, Kakamega County today. These light centres are areas of approximately 1000m2 or the size of a small football pitch and are lit using a new generation of energy efficient solar powered LED lighting. The concept of the “Community Light Center” is to create areas of light for rural communities which live without electricity, thus effectively “extending the day” (using the power of the sun) and creating numerous opportunities for social, sporting and economic activities in the evening.
Philips has partnered with the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) and its WorldCoaches & WASH programs and together they have committed to installing 19 such “Community Light Centers” at different locations across Kenya; the first one was installed in Nairobi in June 2013, during Philips’ Cape Town to Cairo Roadshow.
Philips is currently installing more than a hundred Philips “Community Light Centers” across Africa and has committed an investment of Euro 1.2 million (spread over three years) to this project. The Light Centres, will generally be focused on schools which are closely linked to villages and towns in off-grid or semi-grid areas (this can also include parts of cities). They will provide communal areas which can be used for sport and many other activities – healthcare, education, social, and commerce. These centres will “extend the day” using the power of the sun and provide safety and security thus enabling community life after dark.
The setup of a : Community Light centre” includes four 8m poles fixed in the ground and hoisting four LED lights which consume less power than a 60w light bulb and provide around 20 lux of cold white light across an area of 1000m2. Maintenance of the Light Centres would be self-sustaining as local authority/owners can rent out the light or advertising space and generate an income.
“Africa is starting a new reliable solar powered LED lighting revolution which will save energy as well as provide lights for those without electricity”, says Mary Kuria, General Manager, Philips Lighting East Africa. “Dramatic advances are being made in the efficiency of LED lighting and this is going to speed up social and economic development across the continent. Local reactions have been extremely positive after our first installation in Mathare community in Nairobi. Philips’ aim is to create awareness for what is now possible. We are introducing the first generation of solar powered LED lighting solutions which can provide high quality, sustainable and reliable lighting for off-grid communities throughout Kenya and Africa”
The Philips “Community Light Center” initiative also serves as a commitment to action by Philips in support of the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative. This initiative has one goal, sustainable energy for all, and three complimentary objectives, all to be achieved by 2030;
- Ensure universal access to modern energy services,
- Double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency and,
- Double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
Nearly 1.6 billion people worldwide have no access to electricity. At the same time, for people living near the equator, darkness falls at around 19.00 hrs all year round, slowing down or completely stopping many vital tasks. Philips’ Community Light Center” aims to enhance life in communities with light.
Johan van Geijn, Coordinator - International CSR Projects for KNVB WorldCoaches states: “The cooperation with Philips on Solar Lighting Centers enables the WorldCoaches programme to have more impact on the local community and to stretch the program to more rural communities - as football and life skills education will become an evening activity.”