Zayed Sustainability Prize brings solar energy to rural Bolivia


A program launched under the auspices of the UAE’s Zayed Sustainability Prize is bringing electricity to some 3,000 residents of a rural area in eastern Bolivia.

The Zayed prize, which takes its name from the ruling dynasty of the United Arab Emirates, was established in 2008 to recognize “innovative sustainable solutions.

As part of the prize organization’s “Guiding Light” campaign, schools in 5 different countries around the world have each received $100,000 and 2,000 solar lanterns.


Katsumi Bani, one of the coordinators of the project, told EFE Friday that Sacred Heart Education Unit 4 in San Juan, a city of roughly 10,000 people in Santa Cruz province, was selected as the Latin American platform for Guiding Light.

To mark the project launch, the school’s 450 students deployed the solar lanterns in the shape of the Zayed Sustainability Prize.

Following the display, the 2,000 lanterns were distributed among rural communities - some of them nearly 100km (62mi) from San Juan - that don’t have electricity.

For the people who live in those communities, Guiding Light has been an unexpected blessing, former San Juan Mayor Bani said.