Poverty Reduction in Panama

We are launching a project to decrease the cost of light in Soloy, Panama, where families spend a large portion of their income buying disposable batteries to power flashlights. If we reduce the amount of batteries that are bought, we increase disposable income. Thus by making the flashlights significantly more efficient, we have an effective poverty reduction program. The flashlights that are currently being used have an incandescent-type lightbulb. Such a lightbulb is grossly inefficient, especially compared to the latest technology, white light emitting diodes (LED). We therefore decided to retrofit the flashlights already used by community members with the efficient LED bulbs. This has the potential to save families $80 or more per year, a significant saving in a region where people typically live on $1 - $2 a day.

Team Members: Kimberly Lau, Anna Zaniewski, and Jed Duersch