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The GOOD 100: Lebônê Solutions

A major obstacle to improving health and business in rural Africa is a lack of connectivity. In some nations, 95 percent of the...

A major obstacle to improving health and business in rural Africa is a lack of connectivity. In some nations, 95 percent of the population lives off the grid with almost no access to electricity. That makes cell phones and light bulbs-both of which are critical to facilitating development-tough to use. Enter Lebônê Solutions, an organization that has figured out how to generate energy from an unlikely source: dirt. Using microbial fuel cell technology, Lebônê was able, during a test run in Tanzania, to power LEDs and cell phone chargers from dirt, of which there's no dearth in rural areas. After a successful World Bank-funded test run this past summer in Namibia, Lebônê looks poised to deliver modest individual sources of light and power, and set a precedent for brighter days-and nights-in the region's near future.


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