By the Light of a Solar Lamp

Replacing the Use of Harmful Kerosene Lamps for Night Fishing in Sri Lanka

Burning of Kerosene for Night Fishing in Sri Lanka…
solar-led-5In Sri Lanka nearly 45.000 Lake & Lagoon Fishermen fishing at night using traditional kerosene lamps to illuminate and attract fish to their fishing vessels, burning more than 54,000 (liters) of kerosene every night at the rate of 1.2 liters per fishing vessel , annual consumption of 19.2 million liters of kerosene for night fishing .

Statistics show that burning 1.2 L of kerosene emits about 3.14 kg of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas to the atmosphere. Sri Lanka emits more than 60 million kg of CO2 to the atmosphere only from 45,000 fishing vessels, contributing extensively to Global Climate Change.

Burning of Kerosene Adverse Impacts…

solar-led-6There are also health-related issues caused by long-term exposure to kerosene fumes and other disadvantages such as the difficulty in using kerosene lamps during rainy and windy weather; accidental spill of kerosene causing the pollution of ecosystems and contaminating the fish catch; and the considerable amount of money spent on kerosene. Generally each Fisherman spends more than 40Euro per month to purchase Kerosene to light their fishing Lamps. Per year they spend nearly 1/3 of their monthly income to purchase Kerosene.

To minimize the carbon footprints of fisher communities in Sri Lanka…

To address the above issue in 2008 “ Nagenahiru” introduce Solar Powered LED Laming system to replace the burning of Kerosene during night fishing by Sri Lankan traditional fishermen fishing in inland water bodies such as coastal lagoons , lakes etc.

Components of the Solar Fishing Lamp…

  • 3W LED lighting system powered by a rechargeable 12 Volt 4 Ampere Lithium-Iron-Phosphate battery, with three-year lifespan.
  • The lamps consume low energy and provide improved lighting that could last for up to 20 hours when fully charge once.
  • These affordable lanterns can be recharged by using 12W solar panels, which makes the system cheaper and more sustainable utilizing renewable solar energy.
  • These alternative lights are easy to maintain, light in weight about 800 grams with batteries and less labour-intensive.

Community involvement…

solar-led-2This project implement together with strong community participation of Fishermen through their fisher societies in respective inland water bodies. Project received the technology support from its European partner Global Nature Fund in Germany and Solar LED photo types were produced by the Nagenahiru Center for Environment (Pvt) Ltd. Thus this project implement with strong mix of both internationals expertise and Sri Lankan minds to facilitate and minimize the carbon footprints of fisher communities in Sri Lanka by equipped them with the advantage of huge carbon potential available, while encourage to develop knowledge base and expertise required for the emerging of low carbon economy among local population in Sri Lanka.

Solar Lamps for night Fishing

Technological intervention…

During the manufacturing of Solar LED Lamps this project utilizes Solar systems using 30W photovoltaic (PV) cells. The PV panel converts solar energy to electrical energy and store it in Lithium-Iron-Phosphate batteries of 12W – 4 Ampere. The scheme innovate a Lantern fitted with an energy saving 3W LED bulbs. The technology launched to replace the use of kerosene for lighting lamps in freshwater fishing vessels that operate during the night in rivers, tanks and lagoons. It is a simple and easy to maintain by the rural fishermen. The solar system is with 15 years company warrantee and fitted with a charge controller to protect the battery by overcharging.

Role of Local Fisher Leaders…

The local fisher leaders provided with the necessary technical and management skills to manage the Solar LED Lamping system for night fishing. With the guidance of the technical partner lamps will manufacture locally using European / Japanese technology.

A selected group of Fisher leaders will be trained and develop their skills to maintain the Solar Lamps and Educational and Awareness programmes will be conducted create the awareness of the fisher society on the Green Economy with low carbon footprints.

With the expansion of the project in future project will make use of the Island wide Network of Fisher Societies to distribute the new Lamping system with the cooperation of the Ministry of Fisheries Sri Lanka. During past two years the project distributes 1450 new solar – LED Lamping units to fishermen in six inland water bodies located in four administrative districts in Sri Lanka.

Project schedule and milestones…

solar-led-1The project already developed plans and searching for a suitable donor assistance to replicate this project in eight inland water bodies in Sri Lanka during next three years.

  • Production of 6000 Solar LED lamping units over a 03 year period, distributing a minimum of 2000 lamps yearly.
  • Capacity building of inland Fisher groups and the local community to facilitate the energy management. Training on -low carbon footprints concepts.
  • Effective utilization of natural resources to mitigate pollution of atmosphere and global climate change.
  • This project will be implemented in 16 identified inland water reservoirs including lakes and estuaries having sensitive ecological systems located in eight administrative districts of Sri Lanka.
  • This project also provides tangible socio-economic benefits for poor people and generates a significant amount of certified carbon credits for Livelihood investors.

solar-led-3Nagenhiru having strong confidence that this small project in near future encourage the National level policy makers to formulate relevant policies to reduce the kerosene imports to the country and will be able to develop as a “Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Programme “results in climate change mitigation while saving the valuable foreign exchange expending on kerosene imports, reducing the poverty of fisher communities in Sri Lanka.




For more articles see:
Solar LED Technology for Prawn Fishing in Sri Lankan Lagoons