– A number of people in Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara Province, use solar-powered lanterns for lighting due to their difficulties to access electricity in their area.

“Initially, we used the lamp. There was also a solar home system from PLN (State Electricity Company) but it was not optimal, meaning that the lights went out in midnight,” said Margaretha Katoda, a resident of Delo Village in Southwest Sumba Regency, Monday (01/29/2018).

Eventually, they learned from TERANG Project which was carried out by a consortium team between HIVOS that used solar power for lighting.

Margaretha, who is also the owner of the Energy Kiosk, has gained a number of benefits after using renewable energy-based lighting.

In addition to reducing expenditures to buy kerosene as lamp fuel, it also has an impact on their health because they no longer have to breathe the remaining burning lamps that causing sore in the eyes.

Additionally, the use of solar-powered lanterns also has an impact on productive economic activities at night, for example: peeling candlenut, weaving, rowing, workshops, selling at grocery stores and sewing. Also helps illuminate children while learning.

The same thing confessed by Albina Wini, a resident of Wee Wula Village who claimed that before having a solar-powered lantern, she used a generator for electricity.

“Per-night, I should spend IDR 30 thousand only for generator fuel,” Albina said, quoted from Antara’s website.

But with a solar-powered lantern, she claimed she can save money and the light that produced was also very bright and not easily damaged.

They are also greatly helped if there are activities at night such as grief events, lanterns can be rented for IDR 5,000 and cheaper than generators.

Until the end of 2017, TERANG (Investing in Renewable Energy for Rural, Remote Communities)  Project has provided electricity access for 26 districts in East Nusa Tenggara.

Jetty Arlenda Maro from Resco, the consortium of HIVOS, said he was facilitating the community for free through the Energy Kiosk.

After 300 times of recharging, the solar-powered lantern can be owned by the people.

Currently, there are 30 energy kiosks throughout Sumba and more than 3,000 houses have been lightened with solar-powered lanterns.