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Solar lamps made from e-waste are one solution to Nigeria’s power outages

Dozie Igweilo holds a QuadLoop solar lamp
Dozie Igweilo holds a QuadLoop solar lamp   -   Copyright  Reuters   -  
By Hannah Brown  with Reuters

Nigeria’s national grid has severe problems. When it collapses, it plunges the entire country into darkness, something that has happened around seven times already in 2022.

For some small businesses, this is disastrous because it cuts the working days short. For others, it means relying on expensive generators to guarantee continuous power - and working hours.

Entrepreneur Dozie Igweilo has come up with a solution which not only keeps the lights on but reduces waste and emissions all at once.

His business, QuadLoop, recycles parts from old electricals to produce low-cost solar lamps, made in Nigeria.

How does QuadLoop recycle e-waste?

To create its products, the company uses lithium batteries from dumped old laptops and places them in the lanterns. It also utilises wires, screws and screens - which are used for the casing of the solar units.

Each unit is sold for €32. They are used mainly by small businesses that need to stay productive during power outages.

Because the lamps are mostly created with second life wares, they only come with a one year warranty, but also a chance to get their batteries replaced.

What started out as a low-cost solution to power outages has become a victory for the environment too.

E-waste is a huge problem globally. Nigeria alone is estimated to have produced €152 million worth of e-waste in 2019.

Though we know that lithium batteries are a great way of storing power, their production has a huge effect on the planet. By reusing batteries from old electricals, QuadLoop’s lamps are extending the life of already existing products and reducing the demand for more to be produced.

Solar power supports small businesses through power outages

‘’These small businesses need electricity to function...Even if you are a baker, carpenter, whatever it is that you are doing, you need electricity…to help keep a business running and productive,'' explains Dozie.

One of QuadLoop's clients is Blessing Samuel, who works as a hairdresser and uses her solar lamp during evening appointments.

For the 10 years she had her business before she had a solar lamp, she either ran her generator at night, which was a costly extra expense, or postponed unfinished work to the following day.

“It relieves me of the stress of buying fuel and extra expenses," Blessing says.

Apart from small business owners, Igewilo’s target market also includes local community hospitals that don’t have a secure power connection.

Watch the video above to learn more about QuadLoop’s solar lamps.

Video editor • Hannah Brown