GNF - Introducing LED and CF lamps

Improving livelihoods of fishermen in Sri Lanka


The project aims at improving livelihoods of fishermen in Sri Lanka by introducing sustainable energy lamps, specifically LEDs (Light Emitting Diode) and CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamp), for night fishing, thereby reducing the use of fossil fuel and its negative effects on health and the environment. The project will be implemented at the lakes and wetlands Bolgoda, Madampe, Maduganga, Maella, Malal and Lungamwehera in Sri Lanka. Bolgoda is the largest natural lake in Sri Lanka with a rich biodiversity.

Maduganga and Madampe are important brackish water systems with vast mangrove ecosystems and a rich fish fauna. Local people depend strongly on fish and prawn as a main source of income and food. At all lakes fishermen traditionally use kerosene lamps for night fishing and for fishing prawn in traditional Ja-kotu systems. 85,000 canoe fishermen are fishing in the southern coastal water bodies of Sri Lanka burning more than 100,000 litres of kerosene per night equivalent to 30 Million litres per year.


GNF with its partners are the only organisations seeking environmentally friendly alternatives to the use of fossil fuels for night fishing in this region. Project partners in Sri Lanka are the Nagenahiru Foundation and the EMACE Foundation. Experts from EMACE and Nagenahiru have worked with the prototypes for more than two years and have developed sufficient know-how to conduct the required model projects and trainings.

A three-year pilot phase showed that LED and CFL prototypes can be easily substituted for kerosene torches, as they show comparable results in catch and can provide more light at lower costs. It is aimed to purchase all required parts, such as batteries, LED and CF lamps as well as other technical components at the local markets. The technology will be applied in the whole target area and reach at least 1,000 fishermen in the first phase, which will last one year. During the last phase of the project, the use of this technology will be transfered to other lakes and fishermen in Sri Lanka.

During the past three years, GNF has provided technical assistance and support to the Nagenahiru Foundation performing a series of experiments to identify feasible alternatives to kerosene lamps for night fishing. Taking in account that in Sri Lanka a majority of the population has access to the electricity grid at reasonable prices (even if it comes mostly from conventional power generation and only partially generated from hydropower), solar off-grid solutions can only be applied in niches. However, the electric lamps systems will also generate significant environmental benefits, even if the batteries are charged from the grid.

 Installation and instruction

The innovative and simple technology of LED lamps and the availability of components in the market make this project easily replicable. Also, positive economic results demonstrated in the pilot project phase will increase the interest of fishermen in using LED lamps. The project is financially supported by Dicota, Sika AG as well as by WISIONS in the framework of the programme "Sustainable Energy Project Support SEPS".


Project Video

“New Lights in Madhuganga – The LED Fishermen in Sri Lanka“

This is the title of an English video about the Maduganga Wetlands and the introducion of LED lamps for night fishing in Sri Lanka. Further information about the GNF project you will find in the adjoining video.

Project Workshop

The workshop under the title "Protection of diverse Mangrove Forests and Promotion of Energy Saving Lamps in Sri Lanka" took place from 13 to 17 June 2010 in Ambalangoda in the Maduganga and Madampe Wetlands, Sri Lanka.


The project is also supported by


Official Project Titel:




Project Duration:


Project Countries:


Project Partners:




Technical Support:

Improving livelihoods of fishermen in Sri Lanka by introducing LED and CF lamps for night fishing and reducing the use of kerosene.


2009 – 2010


Sri Lanka


Nagenahiru Foundation and EMACE


Wisions, Dicota and Sika AG


Diana Electronic-Systeme GmbH und OSRAM Opto Semiconductors GmbH