On August 4, 2020, the largest non-nuclear explosion in history tore through Beirut, destroying homes, businesses and entire neighborhoods in this beautiful metropolis. The blast killed over 180 people, injured 7,500 and left 300,000 homeless. An already shaky power grid sustained significant damage plunging large swaths of the city into darkness after sunset.
Night photos by Rami Moukarzel
Now the power is back where the electrical lines are working, but there is still a huge gap between supply and demand. An informal and highly profitable diesel-generator network takes over during the daily blackouts, but many cannot afford to plug in and therefore do not have enough light for their daily tasks, safety and well-being.
Light Reach’s solar lighting model immediately and sustainably alleviates light poverty both indoors and outdoors. As intractable as the current situation appears, it also presents an opportunity to build back better. Lebanon burns imported fuel (mostly highly polluting diesel) to generate electricity — we have a better way to quickly and sustainably re-illuminate Beirut.
We are also distributing portable lights to the deaf and hard of hearing, who suffer doubly because they cannot communicate in the dark.
Light for Lebanon is a partnership between Light Reach and Manale Kahale, an architectural lighting designer based in Beirut.
- Project partner: Manal Kahale (LEBANON)
- Legal consultant: Elizabeth Boulos (LEBANON)
- Financial advisor: Ramzi Kahale (CANADA)
- Fundraising Ambassadors: Tina Aghassian, Amer Maleh (USA)
- Graphic Designer: Julia Mahseredjian (LEBANON)
- Social Media: Yasmina el Khoury (LEBANON)
- Photographer: Sasha Abela (LEBANON)
- Volunteer: William Wehbe (LEBANON)
- Local partners: Beit el Baraka, Arc en Ciel, Live Love Beirut, Al Chafaka
Solar Lighting Equipment
- streetlights: pole-mounted lighting fixtures.
- stationary lights: lighting systems that can be installed flexibly to feature streetscapes and architectural elements, and to highlight access points to the streets, alleys and building entrances.
- portable lanterns: small portable lights that are distributed to residents for indoor and outdoor use, and for educational and artistic workshops and community gatherings and events.
Purchased and currently distributing/ installing:
3,250 portable solar lanterns
391 solar floodlights
27 solar streetlights