Dec 24, 2013

Feature Story

Solar Lanterns Illuminate Cambodia's Non-Electrified Areas

Panasonic's global "100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project" aims to donate a total of 100,000 solar lanterns to non-electrified areas in the Asian and African regions by 2018, through social institutions which include non-profit and non-governmental organisations. Read how Panasonic continues to support those in the base of the economic pyramid through this innovative technology in Cambodia.

In emerging markets with limited electrical infrastructure, problems of unstable electricity supply and even blackouts are prevalent. Kerosene lamps pose fire hazards and contribute to health problems, emitting toxic fumes.

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    The New Solar Lantern Doubles Up as a Light and Power Source.

On 3rd December, a total of 2,500 solar lanterns were donated to nine social institutions in Cambodia under Panasonic's global "100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project" and the 60th Anniversary of Friendship between Japan and Cambodia. The initiative is an extension of last year's donation in March which saw Panasonic handing out 2,000 lanterns to 15 organisations in the country to be used in areas such as healthcare, education and small businesses.

Through the UNESCO office in Phnom Penh, 1,500 solar lanterns will be donated to 43 villages around the Angkor monuments. Panasonic is hopeful the lanterns will aid in the betterment of lives, be it through enhancing educational opportunities or improving access to urgent medical services at night, as well as contribute in reducing social problems in deprived areas.

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    Michiko Ogawa, General Manager, CSR & Citizenship Group, Panasonic Corporation (3rd from Left) Presents the Solar Lantern to Anne Lemaistre, Head of Office & UNESCO Representative in Phnom Penh (4th from Left).

Anne Lemaistre, Head of Office and UNESCO Representative in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, commented, "The solar lantern donation to the UNESCO office reflects the continued strategic partnership between UNESCO and Panasonic, specifically in the utilisation of technology for societal contribution. Through collaboration and innovation, we can work together towards environmental and cultural preservation."

Additionally, 1,000 solar lanterns were donated to the 8 other non-governmental and humanitarian organisations within the country - Association of School Aid in Cambodia; Cambodia Education Assistance Fund; Caring for Young Khmer; Kamonohashi Project; International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Cambodia Country Office; Joint Support Team for Angkor Preservation and Community Development; LIFE WITH DIGNITY; and Services for the Health in Asian and African Regions. These lanterns will be utilised for education, healthcare and women's self-reliance support programmes.

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    Donation for LIFE WITH DIGNITY.
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    Donation for Association of School Aid in Cambodia.
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    Donation for Caring for Young Khmer.
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    Donation for Kamonohashi Project.

Developed with a 3.5 Watt solar panel and built-in rechargeable battery, the Panasonic Solar Lantern can create, store and utilise solar energy effectively. Used to create and store renewable energy during the day, it doubles up as a light and power source at night, with the added capability to charge small mobile devices such as mobile phones via a USB port.

Under fine weather conditions, the Solar Lantern is fully rechargeable in approximately six hours. Through the use of sunlight, it contributes to the reduction of carbon dioxide emission. The lantern's adjustable brightness setting allows it to run between six to 90 hours when fully charged. Its 360-degree illumination and flexible design makes it practical and convenient for everyday use. The multi-functional product has a USB port which allows for charging of mobile phones, an increasingly popular communication device in areas with limited electrical infrastructure.

Going forward, Panasonic will continue to bring light to more homes and buildings in non-electrified areas in Asian and African regions.

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