Sunny Money, the commercial arm of the energy charity SolarAid, sold more than 50,000 solar lights in Tanzania in the first half of this year through its on-going â€˜Students Lightsâ€™ campaign.
Sunny Money, which sells a wide range of solar lights, expanded its distributorship to the Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions, after a highly successful â€˜salesâ€™ year in 2011 on Tanzaniaâ€™s Mafia Island.
â€œDemand has far exceeded our ability to supply, and several times we have had to stop campaigning to wait for more lights to be imported. Even so sales have been running at 150% of budget resulting in over 50,000 solar study lights benefiting students in these two regions alone,â€ says Malcolm Wigmore, SunnyMoneyâ€™s Operations Director in Tanzania.
Through its â€˜Student Lightsâ€™ campaign, the company demonstrates the use and benefits of solar lanterns to school children who can then buy the lights and enjoy clean, safe and affordable solar lighting.
Felista Mlay who lives in Rombo, Kilimanjaro and whose daughter purchased a d.light S1 solar lantern during one of the school campaigns, explains the impact the light has had on their lives.
â€œSince we bought the solar light I have no worries at all about my children and the security of our home. The light has reduced our costs especially for kerosene. I used to buy two litres of kerosene each week,â€ she says. â€œAlso my daughter was always complaining about eye irritation which was affecting her revision; breathing was also difficult due to smoke. But now I never hear any complaints.â€
In coming months, Sunny Money will be rolling out more school-based solar lighting promotions in the Iringa and Morogoro regions of Tanzania, with plans to also expand its operations in Kenya, Malawi and Zambia.
Using a similar approach, the company rolled out the â€˜Students Lightsâ€™ campaign in Kenya and sold more than 20,000 study lights within 10 weeks.
â€œItâ€™s very encouraging to see that the solar market in this country has grown to be trusted. The Kenya team is really excited about these campaigns and are planning to roll out more in other areas,â€ says Linda Wamune, the Kenya Operations Director, as the team plans to scale out its schools campaign.
Based on performance to date, SunnyMoney is confident of achieving sales in excess of 300,000 solar lights this year, says the Managing Director, John Keane.