In the days following Nepal’s 7.8-magnitude earthquake on April 25, as massive power outages complicated relief efforts, Sandeep Giri and his coworkers were shaken but determined to help.
Giri, who was born and raised in Nepal, is the CEO of Gham Power, a solar company that’s been operating in Nepal for the last five years. After the earthquake, Gham Power’s employees sprung into action to deploy solar power systems that could power lights and mobile charging stations for relief workers and the displaced.
Besides basic needs like medical attention, food, water, and shelter, electricity is a major issue in the wake of a disaster, says Giri. “First, you don’t want to be in the dark, as it’s scary, you don’t feel safe, and it is also very cumbersome to get or administer relief without light. Second, in this day and age, your first instinct is to reach out for your loved ones to check if they are okay and let them know you are OK. And when you reach for your mobile phone, it’s dead and there is no place to charge it.”