Panasonic Donates Solar Lanterns to Communities in South Africa

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1500 solar lanterns donated at ceremonies organized through the Nelson Mandela Foundation

South Africa: Continuing its efforts to offer a brighter life to the people living in no electricity areas in South Africa, Panasonic, in association with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, has donated 1500 Panasonic Solar Lanterns to the people living in remote areas with power shortages this year.

The community outreach program that strengthens the brand’s commitment to making life better in developing societies is a part of the brand’s 100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project. Launched in Myanmar in 2013, Panasonic has so far donated more than 100 thousand solar lanterns to 30 countries in Asia and Africa.

In line with the brand’s motto ‘A Better Life, A Better World’, Panasonic has been proactively using the company’s core technologies and products to implement the 100 thousand Solar Lanterns Project. The company has continued its activities despite the shipping disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We believe in creating sustainable and healthy societies. These smoke-free solar lanterns that light up utilizing the sun’s energy, we believe, will provide good health, improve living standards, and save the cost of fuel in this pandemic–ridden period, which has left many in a financial and health crisis. COVID-19 pandemic also underscores the importance of reaching out to communities in need to help them weather the difficulties of time,” commented Hiroyuki Shibutani, Managing Director, Panasonic Marketing Middle East and Africa FZE.

As a brand committed to creating a better life for everyone, we are thankful and pleased to partner with the Nelson Mandela Foundation in providing the solar lanterns to the communities in need,” he added.

A country-by-country assessment of the Sub-Saharan Africa region by the International Energy Agency in 2019 showed that the number of people without electricity access is 770 million, almost 75% of the population. Kerosene lamps are used in these areas for lighting, but their smoke poses a health hazard and exposes people to fire risk. With most children learning and spending their time at home during the pandemic, solar lanterns are expected to help them learn safely. Women’s groups engage in activities that create income, improve their lives, in addition to helping create a sustainable society by reducing the economic burden of fuel purchase costs.

The donation ceremony, organized by the Nelson Mandela Foundation took place in three provinces – Eastern Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal, and Mpumalanga.

“The solar lanterns symbolize the change that brings good by contributing to improving life standards and sustainability in African communities. We are extremely pleased to continue our partnership with Panasonic in continued participation with a great brand in bringing light and improving living conditions in the non-electrified areas of South Africa,” commented Yase Godlo, Director – Mandela Day & Special Projects, Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Panasonic 100 thousand Solar Lanterns Project

Panasonic firmly believes that companies, as corporate citizens, have an obligation to society to foster human development, new opportunities and eradicate poverty. This is why Panasonic developed its 100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project, focused on brightening the lives of people around the world.

The Panasonic Solar Lantern eliminates health problems caused by black smoke and dim light of Kerosene lamps. It prevents the necessity of giving birth in the dark, providing medical care in dim light, and remove the worry of sudden blackouts during surgery. The lantern can also charge appliances and electrical products, eliminating the need for children or parents to travel several kilometers to charge their phones. A significant benefit to the community from the initiative is that children can better study in bright light – and pursue and advance their dreams of the future. For low-income families, the high cost of kerosene lamps is a heavy burden. If these fuel costs can be saved, they can spend more money on education and use it in other ways to improve life.