Renewable World

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Duration: 10 minutes

Presenter Gethin Jones makes an appeal on behalf of Renewable World, a charity that works in developing countries to tackle poverty through renewable energy. Gethin meets Sumina, who lives in a remote village in Nepal. Like many of the 80% of Nepalese who rely on the land for their livelihoods, the harsh landscape, lack of water and energy meant Sumina couldn't grow enough crops to feed her family. With very little income, Sumina struggled to provide an education and healthcare for her children. But thanks to the charity, a water pumping system was installed in Sumina's village. Not only does Sumina now have water all year round to grow vegetables to feed her family, but she is also able to provide an income by selling high value cash crops at market.

Last on

Wed 20 Feb 2013 12:50 BBC Two except Scotland

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  • Donate online now

    Donate online now

    Please donate by going to the website or by calling 01273 234 801. If you’d like to post a donation please make your cheque payable to ‘Renewable World' and send it to 'Renewable World, 113 Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XG.'

    Renewable World
  • Gethin Jones

    Gethin Jones

    I came to Nepal having heard so much about the beautiful mountains and landscape, but underneath it all is a very poor world. Around 80 per cent of people live on the land – and the land is harsh. There is no water, and there is no energy. And people struggle.

    Beyond the beauty, people really need help, and Renewable World is here to help.

    The key thing is sustainability. Renewable World makes sure people can lift themselves out of poverty and are able to take care of their own future.

    For me, it's about giving children the opportunities that others don’t get. They need a little bit of help. They’re not going to make adulthood without clean water, without energy, without being able to have a nutritious diet, without sanitation, without basic healthcare and education.

    Renewable World concentrates on sustainability. On the future, on how they set things up so the project continues when they leave. They’re helping over 20,000 people and they want to help so many more.

  • Renewable World

    Renewable World

    Renewable World is the international non-profit organization of the Renewable Energy Industry. We stimulate market based development of affordable, reliable renewable energy services for some of the poorest people in the world.

    1.3bn people worldwide have no access to electricity. Lack of access to energy hinders trade and human development. More than 2m people – most of them women and children – die prematurely every year as a result of indoor air pollution from paraffin, wood, grass or animal dung used for lighting and heating.

    Renewable World establishes sustainable micro businesses which provide renewable energy services for “the poorest of the poor” in the developing world. Access to clean energy improves income, health and educational opportunities for some of the world's most vulnerable people.

    Our work stimulates trade and
    enterprise, transforming lives by helping communities to significantly raise their income. We work with local partners in Asia, Africa and Central America to set up solar, wind, hydro and biogas services to pump water for crop irrigation and greatly increased agricultural production. Clean energy lights homes and schools, provides clean cooking sources and powers health clinics.

    The BBC Lifeline Appeal focuses on our work in Nepal. Here the renewable energy water pumping services we have established help farmers to progress from battling to survive to trading, making a profit and working their way out of poverty. Clean lighting help youngsters go to school, study in the evenings and spend more time with their families.

    Thanks for watching, and for supporting our work to transform lives across the world.

  • Sumina


    Sumina lives with her family in a remote village in the foothills of the Himalayas. She relies on growing crops for both food and income but for 9 months of the year, the land is dry. Living far above a water source, Sumina used to struggle get enough water to grow vegetables. She said to Gethin, “it was very difficult for me to feed my family.” Sumina used the little money she had to buy food for her family but this meant she didn’t have money to pay for her children to go to a good school, and their education suffered. She said, “I felt sad and thought when can I give my children what they want and deserve. I used to feel like crying. I use to feel so desperate.”

    Renewable World installed a pump to take water from the river straight up to Sumina’s community so they have access to water all year round to grow vegetables. Sumina can now grow a range of crops and can sell them at the market. She uses the money for food, clothing, and her children’s education. She told Gethin,” I am able to look after my families needs. I feel capable. I’m full of happiness.”

  • Sita


    Sita lives with her family in a remote village Terai region of Nepal. Like all the women in her community she uses wood for cooking, but this causes serious health problems as they inhale smoke and ash. Every year nearly 2 million people, mainly women and children, die from indoor air pollution.

    Sita also has to collect firewood at the river everyday and this can be extremely dangerous because they try to fish wood out of the stream. In monsoon season, they risk being swept away from the bank. Last year two of Sita’s friends were killed doing that. Sita said they have no choice, “we don’t have wood to cook a meal. So we have to go. That’s the reason why the two women took a risk and lost their lives.”

    Fortunately, the charity have constructed a biogas plant in Sita’s community which will provide clean energy for cooking so she will no longer need to risk her life collecting wood. Sita said, “No more will we have to inhale smoke. All we have to do is light a match and the gas stove is on which is so good for us.”

    The community have also invested in cattle. The cows not only fuel the biogas plant but provide fertilizer to grow vegetables and provide milk that can be sold to make money.

  • Behind the Scenes

  • Filming Sumina leading a community meeting

    Filming Sumina leading a community meeting

  • Filming at the river

    Filming at the river

  • Filming Gethin on the rope bridge

    Filming Gethin on the rope bridge

  • Filming women collecting wood

    Filming women collecting wood


Gethin Jones
Gavin Ahern
Executive Producer
Gill Tierney


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