US students take power to Tanzanian villages
DEVELOPMENT| July 19, 2012, 8:42 a.m.
A group of US students will travel to Tanzania next month to install solar energy syatems at a number of village schools and hospitals.
The students, from Oregon Institute of Technology(Oregon Tech), will travel to Tanzania next month to join their professor, Dr. Slobodan Petrovic, where they will install solar energy systems for schools and hospitals. The trip is part of Oregon Tech's BS in Renewable Energy Engineering (BSREE) degree program.
After volunteering in Tanzania in 2009, Dr. Petrovic teamed up with students from Oregon Tech's Department of Electrical Engineering & Renewable Energy (EERE) in Portland to help build a sustainable new model for changing the energy outlook in Africa, and provide hands-on experience in the design and installation of renewable energy technology.
"What I always say is that we give these people the gift of light and the gift of communication," Dr. Petrovic says.
Each year since 2010, another batch of 10 students travels to Tanzania to continue Oregon Tech's work providing energy for schools, hospitals and orphanages. This year the students will also take eight laptops allowing villages access to the internet as connections allow.
For the first time this trip, the group will revisit past sites to install equipment invented by last year's seniors that allow monitoring of the solar systems online. The data will allow Dr. Petrovic to ensure the installations stay working.
The humanitarian work also is made possible by donations from Hillsboro-based SolarWorld. SolarWorld has donated 30 panels to the program, and is invested in continuing to help it grow.
"This is about more than simply installing solar panels; it's about facilitating access to education, communications, medical services and clean, safe drinking water," says Gordon Brinser, president of SolarWorld Industries America.
The initial inspiration for the program came about during Dr. Petrovic's 2009 trip to Tanzania, when a terrible accident changed his perspective forever. "There was a girl in the dormitory in one of the schools using a candle hidden under her blanket so she could read," Dr. Petrovic says. "She fell asleep, and her blanket caught fire. Thirteen girls died. I want to prevent these tragedies."
In addition to installing solar panels, this year Dr. Petrovic and his students will build a large solar water pumping project to provide drinking water for a village of 3,000 people on Lake Nyasa.
MORE DEVELOPMENT NEWS
Airtel DRC launches ‘Back to School’ promotionMobile operator Airtel has this week launched a humanitarian programme to support its cash-strapped subscribers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to ease their worries, as the 2014-2015 school year draws near. Read More
TNM donates K1 million to Special OlympicsMobile network service provider TNM has donated K1 million towards the organisation of Special Olympics Malawi (SOM) games taking place in Lilongwe from today. Read More
Mini Grids Summit to be staged in NairobiMajor players in the power industry will convene in Nairobi this November to synergise the commercial potential of Mini Grids in Africa. Read More
Alex families receive Schneider Electric solar lampsSchneider Electric, a specialist in energy management, has partnered with Rays of Hope, a non-profit organisation, providing 28 schoolchildren and their families in the northern Johannesburg township of Alexandra with an alternative to using candles and paraffin as a source of light. Read More
FSDEA announces ‘Future Leaders of Angola’ scholarshipFundo Soberano de Angola (FSDEA) has announced the launch of its Scholarship Program, called ‘Future Leaders of Angola’, aimed at building up the economic empowerment and capacity of a new workforce in the country. Read More
Tigo CEO encourages more girls to study ICTThe Chief Executive Officer of telecommunication company Tigo Ghana limited, Roshi Motman, is encouraging more girls to study ICT. Read More
Schneider Electric trains 50,000 in energy managementSchneider Electric has trained more than 50,000 people in energy management as part of its BipBop energy access programme. Read More
Samsung Electronics launches first Solar Powered Internet School in GhanaChildren in the deprived community of Dago in the Akuapem South District of Ghana’s Eastern Region have received their first Solar Powered Internet School. Read More
US, AfDB enhance Power Africa partnershipAs part of the US-African Leaders Summit, African Development Bank (AfDB) Group President, Donald Kaberuka, reaffirmed the AfDB’s support to advance the Power Africa initiative, with a commitment of $3 billion over a 5-year period. Read More
FEATURED STORYSafaricom-Equity battle for mobile banking hots up
Equity bank's entry to the mobile banking and telephony industry is still hanging in the balance with London-based global association of mobile operators (GSMA) calling for independent audit.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture
In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.