Project Report:
Switch On Papua, Indonesia

Feb 2014 to Jan 2015

The project:
Switch on Papua, Indonesia
Technologies used:
d.light S300 Solar lantern
Local partner:
The problem: 

In the central highlands of Papua, Indonesia, there is no electricity outside the main town of Wamena. More than 300,000 people in these remote communities don’t have any light at night - not even access to kerosene lamps or candles. Children have no light to study at night and teachers have no light to prepare their lessons.

How we helped: 

We connected 190 d.light S300 solar lanterns with families in remote districts, providing them with safe, clean light at night. Our local partner, Yasumat, distributed these solar lights to eight districts in rural areas of central Papua. Although Yasumat is based in Wamena, the capital of Jayawijaya regency, they expanded their distribution area to Yakuhimo and Tolikara regencies.

Yasumat sold the solar lights at IDR500,000 (~US$38) through their field staff, who live in the districts. These staff also taught the community how to use and maintain the technology. To make the solar lights more affordable, Yasumat allowed people to pay in three instalments.

The people who live in the districts were very excited when they saw the solar lanterns for the first time. Many people bought the d.light S300 immediately after Yasumat promoted it, and asked Yasumat to bring more solar lights.

One man said that he likes the solar light because it is easy to use and maintain; he just needs to charge the solar panel under the sun to have safe and clean light at night. A woman said that she really likes the solar lantern because it’s very bright, especially at night.

What people are saying: 

“As a medical worker, I provide health assistance at the community health post during the day. However, at night, I travel from village to village to provide emergency health assistance, such as helping women to give birth. I used to use a flaming torch to light the three to four hour journey. But now, I use the d.light S300 solar light.”
Kia Sobolim, Head of Community Health Post in Kwikma, Yakuhimo Regency, Papua, Indonesia

“This solar light is really easy to use and carry around. I can use it to read or to prepare religious services for the Sunday church at night. I use it in every season. We only need free sunlight to have a quality light at night.”
Fr. Jhon Sobolim, Yahukimo Regency, Papua, Indonesia

“I use this solar lamp to light my house at night. I also use it to read books and the Bible at night.”
Kenius Bahabol, Farmer, Yakuhimo Regency, Papua, Indonesia

Reaching the last mile: 

Our local partner, Yasumat, distributed 190 d.light S300 solar lights to people in Wamena, Soba, Ninia Holuwon, Dekai, Korupun, Lolat, and Bokondini, reaching three regencies (Jayawijaya, Yahukimo, and Tolikara), in the highlands of Papua. Their field staff, who live in the sub-villages, relayed the order messages through a local radio communication network to their colleagues at Yasumat HQ in Wamena, who would send the solar lights by light plane.

Through the program implementation, Yasumat learned that solar lights are really needed by people in Papua’s highlands, and must be a priority in Yasumat’s next program planning. Yasumat also learned how to distribute technology effectively.

The challenges: 

The only way to reach the sub-villages is by light plane, so the people who live there often waited for quite some time before Yasumat’s field staff could deliver the solar lights to them. To shorten the waiting time, Yasumat’s field staff used an SSB (Single-SideBand modulation) radio network to relay the orders to Yasumat’s HQ in Wamena, from where the solar lights were sent by plane.

Technology feedback
Yayasan Sosial untuk Masyarakat Terpencil

Switch On Papua, Indonesia