In Nepal, over two-thirds of the population lack access to reliable electricity. In some regions, the average power outage lasts 9 hours each day; and can reach over 20 hours in the dry season.

Our friend Kristin Lau recently traveled to remote regions of Nepal to work on her long-term documentary project on the life-changing power of solar energy solutions. Her goal was to find and follow families that were receiving disaster relief from earthquakes, document the importance of reliable electricity and share a collective visual story of the Napalese community.To keep herself and her safe and connected during her travels, she brought her inReach SE along for the ride.

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“In order to plan my month-long trip, I knew I would need a few essential items to ensure everyone’s safety. The site visits included remote agricultural locations, as well as regions where our partner organizations were delivering disaster relief to people who lost their homes in earthquakes earlier in the year.

I realized quickly that we would have little to no access to internet in these remote areas and that we would need a way to communicate with the team back in Kathmandu and our close family members in the US and Canada. As an active documentary photographer working in the field, it is essential to have a reliable way to communicate frequently and also update social media accounts to share a few behind-the-scenes stories.

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With the DeLorme inReach SE, I was able to easily send and receive text messages anywhere in the world from Nepal, and outside cellular range. The SOS feature also gave me peace of mind to know I would receive help and confirmation of help on the way in a timely fashion should anything go wrong.

What I found most useful for this project was the opportunity to track my journey with MapShare. I was able to send a quick message to myself and my stored contact list with exact tracking points of my location. We were then able to use this data when we returned to our base in Kathmandu to plot out our exact site locations and share it with our global partners.

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As Nepal continues to struggle with the effects of the natural disasters and political instability, renewable energy is providing both light and hope for a nation of people renowned for their resilience.”

About the Project

In partnership with two nonprofit organizations, SunFarmer and Photographer’s Without Borders, Kristin had the opportunity to return to Nepal to work on her long-term documentary project on solar energy solutions. SunFarmer is a solar engineering non-profit that installs solar energy in hospitals, health clinics, schools and agricultural sites throughout the developing world. Nearly 1.3 billion people worldwide are without access to electricity. In Nepal, a country that has endured long-term political hardship and instability, a lack of electricity remains one of the biggest barriers to its economic development and prosperity.

About Kristin

Kristin Lau is a Toronto-based documentary photographer from Queens, New York. She’s focused on social documentary, portraiture, and underwater and aerial subjects. Kristin seeks out stories that raise awareness about the environment to evoke positive change for the natural world and its inhabitants. Visit www.kristinlau.com to learn more.

Twitter: @kristinannelau
Facebook: /kristinlauphotography
Instagram: @kristinannelau
LinkedIn: @kristinannelau