SunFarmer has created a Relief and Reconstruction Fund to help provide resources — especially electricity — to the areas most impacted by the two earthquakes that hit Nepal in April and May. Together, the quakes claimed over 9,000 lives.
“There were 1,100 health clinics destroyed in the earthquakes and they are going to be rebuilt,” said SunFarmer Director of Marketing and Development Amanda Eller. “Some of them didn’t have electricity to begin with, but the electricity really transforms the kind of healthcare they can provide.”
The relief work in Nepal fits closely with SunFarmer’s overall mission: providing solar-power solutions in developing countries, specifically for hospitals, schools and small businesses.
Over the past four weeks, SunFarmer has focused on fundraising, collecting donations, bringing in goods from China and India and working with various Nepalese partners, Eller said.
As of now, SunFarmer’s main focus is to provide water and electricity, but its long-term goal revolves around improving the healthcare system.
The organization, which has locations in Toronto, Brooklyn and Nepal, is planning to add another developing country soon. But for now, Eller says the focus is on Nepal.
“We’ll choose our next country on where we can have long-term impact and not just where a disaster happens,” she said. “We are planning on staying in Southeast Asia because we already have such a strong engineering team in Kathmandu and we want to be closer to them.”
Additionally, SunFarmer is working on a monitoring device called Energy X. It can track information remotely to determine how much electricity is being generated, giving SunFarmer the ability to “reach” areas that aren’t easily accessible.
“It transmits data via SMS like a text,” Eller said of the device, which won National Geographic’s 2015 Great Energy Challenge. “In developing countries, everyone has cellphones now and SMS networks are very developed.”
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