A loan of $20,275 helped to buy solar lamps that he will sell to cotton and sesame farmers.


Daniel's story

Daniel is 53 years old, married and has 5 children. He works as a solar lamp distributor in Mali.

Prior to becoming a distributor for NOTS, Daniel studied agriculture and engineering and worked as a farm manager at a Malian textile company. Upon learning about the work of NOTS Mali, he was very motivated to become a distributor because he knew solar lamps would be a great benefit to people living in the rural areas where he lived and worked.

Daniel sells solar lamps directly to farmers and through small retailers and individual entrepreneurs in Sikasso, the southern-most region in Mali. Most people living in this area work in agriculture and about 80% of the population does not have access to electricity. They rely, instead, on kerosene, flashlights and candles for light and they must walk long distances and pay to charge their mobile phones. On top of being harmful to the environment, time-consuming, and damaging to users' health (inhaling kerosene fumes is like smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day), these energy sources are expensive, costing a family at least $80 per year.

A solar lamp has a lifetime of about 5 years and costs $25. Purchasing a solar lamp is a win-win-- families benefit because they save time and money and they are safer and healthier and the environment benefits from less toxic waste and reduced CO2 emissions caused by kerosene use.

The funds from Kiva investors will allow Daniel to purchase solar lamps and sell them to cotton and sesame farmers on credit. These lamps will impact approximately 4,000 lives. Harvest season starts in September, so it is a good time for Daniel to sell lamps as the farmers will have some money to pay for the lamps. It is difficult, however, for them to pay in one lump-sum payment, so Daniel will collect payments in installments. This way farmers can access solar light without so much financial strain on their household.



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