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
Samsung partners Cross Rivers State on Smart School ProgrammeSamsung Electronics West Africa has commissioned the Samsung Smart School Project for teachers and students in Calabar. Read More
Airtel Ghana hands over library to Ajumako Entumbil communityAirtel Ghana has commissioned and handed over a library facility to the people of Ajumako Entumbil in the Central Region. Read More
Facebook partners with She Leads Africa in support of female African entrepreneursFacebook is supporting and sponsoring She Leads Africa, an African enterprise and women’s business-focused movement, to help ensure female entrepreneurs and professionals across the world unlock their full potential. Read More
Networks Unlimited takes women’s empowerment and skills development earnestlyNetworks Unlimited is currently training 108 interns and learners, of which 74 are young women from previously disadvantaged communities. Read More
Solar best way to combat light poverty in AfricaResearch by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) shows that solar-powered LED lighting provides a low-cost alternative that not only alleviates light poverty but also reduces carbon emissions, indoor air pollution, and health risks. Read More
Huawei in school tablet donationHuawei has donated 30 tablets to Moshupa Senior Secondary School in Botswana. Read More
Networks Unlimited continues to give backCommemorating Nelson Mandela Day, Networks Unlimited, a value-added distributor, donated blankets to the South African Family Relief Project (SAFRP). Read More
Bocodol Strategy 2020 to advance technology uptakeThe new 2016 to 2020 Botswana College of Distance and open Learning Strategic Plan is a testament of the institution’s move towards an embedded e-learning regime. Read More
Equity of trust essential for improving productivity – Tigo Barcamp 2016Ghana’s digital lifestyle brand, Tigo, has urged young entrepreneurs and graduates to establish trust in their profession in order to boost productivity. Read More
FEATURED STORYFinancial services sees AI as both opportunity and threat
Banking is already a key area where technology is having an impact throughout Africa, and a new survey assesses the impact artificial intelligence will have on this sector.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAccess and Use of ICT stats released
Statistics Botswana has released the first results of the 2014 Information and Communication Technology Household Survey.