Kerosene lamps used to leave this shop looking gloomy and polluted, but the solar LED lantern allows the owner to sell his products in comfort and security even at night.
This teacher from Mbola Elementary School is delighted to be able to use her solar LED lantern to prepare during the evenings for her following day's lessons
Mbola is Changing
From sewing to threshing harvested crops, the people of Mbola are now able to pursue all kinds of activities at night that would not have been possible before. It is clear that this has had a major impact on the villagers' lives, and on women in particular. This has prompted the village to send Panasonic a clear message: Mbola is Changing.
Targeted activities are now being launched to help create a sustainable society in Mbola, including education for children and the creation of jobs and stable incomes.
Last October, Panasonic also donated a Life Innovation Container to bring further support to the village.
Panasonic's local companies in Indonesia, PT Panasonic Manufacturing Indonesia (PMI) and PT. Panasonic Gobel Indonesia (PGI), have donated solar panels and storage batteries to the local government of the Regency of Boalemo, in Gorontalo Province in the northern part of Sulawesi, to be used as part of an REDD initiative.
Short for "Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation in developing countries," REDD is a global initiative aimed at reducing emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases by stopping deforestation in developing nations. Indonesia is currently facing severe deforestation issues due to illegal tree-cutting by residents of areas near tropical rainforests, or slash-and-burn farming. One measure being implemented by the government to prevent such deforestations is the removal of residents who make a living from cutting down trees or slash-and-burn farming away from these forests, and giving them alternative jobs such as animal husbandry.
Panasonic has now supplied five solar panels (total approx. 1 kW), 12 storage batteries, and one 42-inch plasma television to be installed in the district of Bongo in Wonosari, Boalemo Regency, where some of these residents have been relocated.
The district of Bongo has no electrical infrastructure of its own. Until now, the only source of electricity came from small, oil-powered generators, meaning that residents were forced to live their lives with very little available electricity. The electricity generated by the newly-installed solar panels will now be supplied to meeting venues, mosques, and schools. It is hoped that this will significantly improve people's quality of life across this entire district.
A ceremony was held on November 29 to switch on the lights at a meeting venue in which one of the solar panels had been installed. Ichiro Suganuma, who currently serves as President of both PMI and PGI, spoke of his companies' donation: "It is my heartfelt wish that Panasonic's solar generators from will improve the lives of the people who have been relocated, and help reduce deforestation in Indonesia. Now, electricity will be supplied to schools, and I sincerely hope that this will be of real use in educating the children who will be responsible for Indonesia's future."
Panasonic has donated one Life Innovation Container (LI Container) to the Millennium Promise Alliance, an NPO working towards the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals in the Tanzanian inland village of Mbola. The LI Container will be used to benefit the lifestyles of many people living in an environment without normal electricity supplies.
A donation ceremony was held in Mbola Village on October 24, with those in attendance including the Commissioner of the Tabora Region; Mbola Village project managers; Mr. Shuichiro Kawaguchi, Ambassador of Japan to Tanzania; and almost 1,000 residents of the village.
Representing Panasonic, Executive Officer Hidetoshi Osawa offered a greeting in which he expressed his thanks to those attending the event, and said: "This LI Container can be used in a number of ways, including providing audiovisual education to children, giving local people greater access to information, and for mobile phone recharging businesses. We sincerely hope that it will help realize a more prosperous, sustainable lifestyle for the people of this village."
In the second half of the ceremony, electricity generated by the LI Container was used to power a DVD showing for children from the Mbola elementary school, featuring footage of children in Japan. An "origami armor" demonstration was also given, using Japanese newspapers. This was followed by a performance by the Mbola elementary school students of a song they had written themselves in gratitude for the LI Container, adding to a memorable day of cultural exchange between Japan and Tanzania.
Finally, General Manager Michiko Ogawa of the Corporate Citizenship Group gave a piano recital of the Tanzania Tanzania, a famous song familiar to all Tanzanian people. The locals all sang along, creating a most pleasant atmosphere in which the ceremony could come to a close.
Panasonic has donated 1,000 Solar LED Lanterns the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Tanzania, with a ceremony to mark the donation held at UNDP Tanzania on April 12. Panasonic was represented at the ceremony by Managing Director Yoshiyuki Sako of Panasonic Energy Tanzania Co., Ltd. (PECTZ), with various local UNDP personnel also present. The ceremony had originally been scheduled for March 17, but was postponed in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake. A simple ceremony has been held now so that the Solar LED Lanterns, which have now arrived in Tanzania, can be used as quickly as possible. A message from General Manager Michiko Ogawa of the Corporate Citizenship Group was read out at the event, in which she expressed her appreciation to UNDP Tanzania for the sympathy and encouragement the organization had offered following the earthquake. The message also outlined Panasonic's policies, as the company aims to become the No. 1 Green Innovation Company in the electronics industry by 2018, to help solve the social issue of limited electrical infrastructure in African and other developing nations, and to contribute to the achievement of the UN's millennium development objectives.
Panasonic will promote such efforts both through its business activities and through additional corporate citizenship activities. Meanwhile, a UNDP representative expressed his thanks for the donation of the Solar LED Lanterns, saying that they will greatly improve the lifestyles of the people of the Mbola Millennium Village and demonstrate to them the great benefits of electric lighting. The Solar LED Lanterns donated will be sold at a low price by local savings and loans associations to people living without electrical infrastructure in the Mbola Millennium Village Project, located in the suburbs of Tabora City in inland Tanzania and under the administration of the UNDP and other such organizations. It is hoped that these Lanterns will greatly improve the quality of life of people living in the Mbola Millennium Village, with children able to study and adults able to pursue side jobs after dark.
The Corporate Citizenship Group will continue to work with international institutions and other partners toward the solution of social issues in Africa and other emerging nations as part of Panasonic's global corporate citizenship activities.
The 18th edition of the One World Festival, "an international festival to exchange, interact, and cooperate with others around the world," was held on February 5 and 6, and attended by a grand total of over 10,000 members of the public and students. As part of the event, General Manager Wataru Yokogawa of the Corporate Citizenship Group and Manager Hiroyuki Kakuchi of SANYO Electric joined Masamichi Yamagami of AMDA Multisectoral & Integrated Development Services (an NPO) for a BOP-oriented discussion on using Life Innovation Containers and Eneloop lanterns to help provide aid to developing nations. The discussion was chaired by Hirohisa Seike, board member of Japan International Food for the Hungry.