Liter of Light Bangladesh is a Chittagong based social enterprise that promises to provide DIY solar light bulbs using recycled plastic bottles and water that help illuminate the dark and dingy slum interiors
These poor households usually accommodate more people than one might think from the outside, making it extremely congested and sometimes unlivable. The durable but opaque tin roofs do not help the situation inside, as the rooms are usually small and rarely have any windows. There are many remote rural areas, where the people are still deprived of sufficient electricity. Currently, Liter of Light Bangladesh is providing free of cost solar lamps to almost 35 million people in Bangladesh.
The social enterprise was founded by Shanjidul Alam Seban Shaan in 2015, under the Lights Foundation (A non-profit youth development organization). Hundreds of thousands of communities living across countless shanty towns, Rohingya camps and rural areas were benefitted from this simple yet sustainable method of bringing direct sunlight into their homes. The organization is also currently working on making lamps using LED lights, a simple circuit and small solar panels that will also provide light during the dark.
On October 28, the social enterprise announced that they have been selected for the Youth Co:Lab program, a project co-created by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). This could potentially help the enterprise to scale up their operations and eventually help more people to obtain their service. High ranking government officials are expected to be a part of the program as well. Liter of Light Bangladesh uses a simple process of using pre-used plastic water bottles filled with water which is placed through a cut-out in the tin roof, so the daylight from outside refracts through the water into the room. Half of the bottle which remains inside provides an equivalent brightness to a 50-watt bulb in full daylight. Not only is this providing a sustainable solution to a commonly overlooked problem, but is also helping recycle plastic bottles which are clogging up our rivers and waterways.
Liter of Light is a global, grassroots movement which is present in many countries including Brazil, Philippines, India, Tanzania and many others. The use of this technology as a social enterprise was first introduced in the Philippines by Illac Diaz under the My Shelter Foundation in 2011.