Previously the camps have been pitch black at night, making basic activities almost impossible. On top of that there were immediate concerns about the safety and security of women and children, in their shelters, moving around the camps and going to the toilet at night. The shelters desperately needed lighting to increase security and support their basic needs.
“These clean solar powered lights will make the camps a much safer place at night, and are, therefore, making a much-needed contribution to the lives of people who are spending days in unimaginable difficulties. We hope this partnership with an organization like Signify will be another step towards making lasting impact,” said Asif Saleh, Senior Director, Strategy, Communication and Empowerment at BRAC and BRAC International.
“At Signify, our ambition is to create safer spaces for communities. We are honored that we’re able to support this noble cause by donating our solar-powered LifeLight Lanterns to Rohingya families living in Cox’s Bazar,” said Padmanava Gupta, Managing Director at Signify’s operations in Bangladesh.
BRAC will distribute the solar lamps through its network of offices, seed and agricultural staff and community health workers. It will provide detailed training on care and maintenance and how to get replacements under warranty. Each lamp will be accompanied by an instruction and information sheet in the Rakhine language and script. BRAC will also work with local solar companies and local companies in the Cox’s Bazar area to install and maintain the LifeLight Home systems. These companies will be trained on the specific Philips-branded products and will provide technical support.
Signify became the new company name of Philips Lighting as of May 16, 2018. The legal name of Signify will be adapted in Bangladesh in the beginning of 2019.
The Rohingya Crisis
Since August 2017, 680,000 forcibly-displaced Rohingya people have been sheltering in makeshift settlements across Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh. The new arrivals are vulnerable, and include pregnant and nursing mothers, and children separated from their families. Existing basic services for refugees and host communities have been overwhelmed due to the sudden and massive increase in population. BRAC was one of the earliest responders on the ground, working together with the Government of Bangladesh, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), UNHCR and other stakeholders.