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Solar powered LED lighting project in Tanzania

Premier Farnell works with the United Bank of Carbon on LED lighting project to improve the lives of remote Tanzanian communities.

Working in conjunction with the United Bank of Carbon (UBoC), Premier Farnell has embarked on an exciting initiative to provide solar powered LED lighting to remote villages and communities in Tanzania. The aim of the programme is ultimately for individual communities to purchase and assemble simple kits of parts to provide an environmentally friendly, cost saving alternative to the liquid fuel based forms of lighting they currently use. The project is in collaboration with Fauna and Flora International and local partner the Tongwe Trust.

At present, Premier Farnell is evaluating the supply chain and preparing to ship the first sample kits to a nominated Tanzanian engineering company. It will assess and establish the training that will be required in order for selected residents of remote communities to gain the skills needed to build the kits into finished, working units. Once this stage has been completed, Premier Farnell intends to start shipping a large numbers of the kits to Tanzania.

Premier Farnell’s in-house technical team has designed the units that have been optimised for ease of assembly using own brand parts along with components from some of its leading suppliers. The first kit to be shipped to Tanzania utilises XP Power LED drivers and a range of own-brand Multicomp parts including LED modules, solar panels, batteries, rocker switches and connectors.

UBoC is a collaboration between established, responsible businesses and leading environmental academics and non-governmental organisations who together aim to reduce climate change by protecting the world’s rainforests and their people.

“This is an ambitious and important project that Premier Farnell is ideally positioned to support and drive,” said Charles Denham, Sustainability Manager, Premier Farnell. “Solar powered lighting is the ideal solution for remote village communities and can save them significant cost versus other forms of lighting that use fuels that must be purchased and transported over long distances. The project brings together our technical expertise, product range, drive for innovation and approach to sustainability in a way that delivers benefits to all involved. By helping communities become more self-sufficient and encouraging the use of sustainable sources of energy, there are better prospects for their long-term viability and migration to cities will be reduced.”

Jonathan Wild, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of UboC, added: “Premier Farnell is bringing vital sustainable technology to 40,000 people looking after 10 million of the planet's tropical trees. Quite a project, especially in a remote corner of Tanzania with no roads, no cars, no power lines, no telephones, and hopelessly under-equipped dispensaries and schools. Premier Farnell is clearly demonstrating the social leadership, without which there can be no real business leadership. It is a privilege to be working with such exemplars.”

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