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Engineering Is: Reducing Poverty

Nearly half the world’s population lives on less than $2 per day. But abject poverty shouldn’t be tolerated as a natural part of the human condition. Noted physicist and futurist Freeman Dyson believes that technology can help raise people out of destitution. He’s chairman of the Solar Electric Light Fund, which brings affordable solar power to rural areas in the developing world. In poor communities, lack of electricity can have a devastating effect on health, education, enterprise, agriculture, and the environment. One recent SELF project installed solar power at four health clinics in a mountainous region of Lesotho, Africa, where HIV infection is rampant. SELF’s motto reads: “Energy is a human right.” And who better to help grant that right than engineers? After all, they’re energy experts.

Watch this video about getting solar power in Africa:

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