Bringing Light to Disaster Relief
Bristol, 8 June 2016
Solar energy changes people’s lives. Universal access to clean energy is the key to a brighter, cleaner future. Through a joint partnership between industry, charity & NGO the Your Eco, Solar Aid and Team Rubicon UK are changing the landscape of disaster relief with clean energy. Team Rubicon unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams to disasters in the UK and worldwide and this was demonstrated after the earthquake in Nepal. Working in the remote Gorkha region highlighted the extent of the recovery operation that the local community have faced over the last year. The need for energy became clear as one TR volunteer Nick Spicer, who also worked in renewable energy knew there were more ways to help. Upon his return he immediately enlisted Jeremy Legget, founder of Solarcentury and charity Solar Aid for help. For the devastated post earthquake community the solution lay in Solar Aid’s solar lights.
Solar Aid Solar Light to family in Gorkha Region, Nepal
Nick Spicer CEO Your Eco & Team Rubicon volunteer said: “Whilst assessing the requirements of the rebuild sites, the need for light became very clear. Without it everything is a struggle as night falls – from cooking for the family, to allowing children to do their homework in the evening and ensure a continued education. Through the deployment of solar lights with USB charging to these communities it highlights the positive role that solar can play in the aftermath of disasters by harnessing the natural energy readily available without the need for infrastructure.”
In partnership with the Chaudhry Foundation through PriceWaterhouseCooper India and on the ground with the Indian charity Seeds the task lay ahead of rebuilding 100 temporary shelter homes in the area ready for the harsh Himalayan winter. Access to light and electricity was almost non existent with much of the power infrastructure having been brought down by the earthquake. Solar Aid and their donation of solar lights changed the lives of many through the provision of this clean light source working quickly to help as the relief effort was underway. The logistical operation was a swift undertaking with Solar Aid diverting lights into country which Team Rubicon’s delivery team collected as they passed through Kathmandu. Once in location a training session was held within the community and the solar lights were distributed throughout to be installed in the newly built shelters.
Team Rubicon volunteers deliver Solar Aid solar lights, Nepal
Nick Sireau Chairman Solar Aid speaking today: “Solar energy is an excellent way of dealing with power needs in the wake of a disaster. That’s why we’re so pleased about this collaboration between Team Rubicon and SolarAid.”
John Leach, CEO of Team Rubicon, “This was a fantastic example of companies and charities pulling together to make a real difference to a devastated community. The Your Group of Companies was seeking to make a positive difference by working in partnership with charities such as Team Rubicon and Solar Aid, and the project in partnership with PwC was able to bring about real impact on the ground.”