Installing solar public lights and photovoltaic panels in vulnerable communities
The "Luz al Barrio" project increased safety and energy efficiency in vulnerable communities by installing solar public lights and photovoltaic panels. The project also implemented energy efficiency workshops for volunteers and residents of the communities. Solar lights were installed in community spaces to reduce the feeling of insecurity in streets and common areas.
TECHO-Chile installed 80 public lights in 16 communities nationwide where they work, along with photovoltaic panels in 2 community centers. The use of renewable energy helps avoid risks associated with irregular connections.
Based on this project results, the association aims to reinforce the impact of the project by adding energy efficiency and home repair workshops. This will enable beneficiaries to take ownership of the project, learn how to use energy efficiently, and take care of electricity and water.
If a community is to benefit from one or more solar-powered public lights, TECHO-Chile provides the necessary materials for their installation. Individuals responsible for executing and maintaining the project agree to participate in TECHO's workshops on energy conservation and renewable energy.
The installation of the first and second batches of luminaires were carried out with neighbors of the communities responsible for the project, with support from volunteers and professionals from TECHO-Chile.
The installation of luminaires in the communities had a positive social impact as it improved the perception of security in the areas where they were installed, resulting in a decrease in criminal activity and pedestrian accidents. This is considered a significant achievement, given that these were the main reasons for the communities' interest in the project.
Communities members expressed gratitude for the support provided to vulnerable communities in the camps, and some suggested prioritizing the installation of water and electricity in slums.
“ The luminaires have greatly changed the well-being of the neighbors, they feel safer, the elderly walk more confidently without risk of falls and accidents. ”
WomanFrom Huillinco Bajo, Biobío, Chile
communities improved their public lighting
lights and photovoltaic panels installed
“Luz al barrio” is one of TECHO-Chile's most emblematic projects today. It was born from the workshops in which neighbors and volunteers raise the needs of their communities and plan how to develop projects to solve prioritized problems. It provides a quick, effective, and environmentally-friendly solution to an important issue.
The lighting of public spaces is one of the most urgent needs indicated by communities. Being able to respond to it with the installation of solar luminaires and solar panels for community centers implies social, economic, environmental, and security benefits. It avoids the risk of fire due to irregular connections to the electrical wiring.
Furthermore, the energy efficiency workshops promote the incorporation of energy-saving practices from home. The simplicity of the installation of the luminaires allows it to be carried out by unskilled labor, that is, neighbors and volunteers, with the exception of the welder who is usually a member of the community.
Both the global and specific goals set - eliminating or decreasing the feeling of insecurity in communities living in slums where TECHO-Chile works, as well as decreasing the risk of electric fires - when applying for the Nexans Foundation fund have been accomplished.
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