About 1,847 beneficiaries in Faridpur, Bangladesh, will receive the lanterns, a part of Zayed Sustainability Prize’s ‘Guiding Light’ global campaign. Most are from disadvantaged families. Image Credit: Supplied

Dhaka: The Zayed Sustainability Prize’s “Guiding Light” global campaign reached Bangladesh, lighting up Hazarbighar Char Island in Faridpur with 2,000 solar lanterns.

The impressive 20 x 20 metre light installation, revealing the Zayed Sustainability Prize logo, took place just after sunset on the island of Hazarbighar Char, said a press release issued by the Prize on Wednesday.

The solar lanterns were then donated to beneficiaries in the surrounding communities.

About 1,847 beneficiaries will receive the lanterns including school students, local shopkeepers, fisherman and their families, vulnerable women and children, as well as workers of a local community health centre. Most are from disadvantaged families with limited or no access to on-grid power.

The “Guiding Light” campaign was launched on December 5 in Bahrain, and an event in Bolivia was held on December 6.

Inspired by the sustainability and humanitarian legacy of the UAE’s founding father, Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Zayed Sustainability Prize is the UAE’s pioneering global award for recognising innovative and inspirational sustainability solutions.

The 2009 winner, and founder and chairman of the Bright Green Energy Foundation, Dipal Barua, worked with the Prize and his foundation to oversee the organisation and set-up of the Bangladesh event.

Winner of the inaugural prize, Barua is a world-renowned businessman with decades of experience in providing sustainable, market-based, solutions to the socioeconomic problems of rural people. Barua is also a long-time international advocate for the implementation and distribution of affordable, mass-scale, solar PV [photovoltaic] technology to improve the lives of off-grid communities in areas of energy, light, income, and health. This campaign offers further support to his goal of turning Bangladesh into a “solar nation”.

After Bangladesh, the campaign now moves on to Kenya, where the next event will be in partnership with 2013 Prize winner d.light. The campaign will conclude with an event in Abu Dhabi on January 9, 2019.

About 66 winners have so far been recipients of the prize. Collectively, these winners have gone on to, directly or indirectly; affect positive impact on the lives of over 307 million people around the world.

Winners of the 2019 Zayed Sustainability Prize will be announced at the awards ceremony during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week on January 14, said the press release.