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Solar in Sakpalua!

Anula (good evening) from Ghana!

Sam and I arrived in Tamale on Thursday and got straight to work on our 3rd solar business pilot in the village of Sakpalua!

Sakpalua is a rural village of about 500-600 people located about an hour outside of Tamale. We first started working in this community in April 2012 when the Spring Fellows implemented a water business with Lydia and Dama, two awesome water entrepreneurs. Over the past two years, these two ladies have been working extremely hard and as a result, the water business as been a huge success! Lydia and Dama are able to solve most problems on their own and run their water business with little to no assistance from the CWS staff. Since Sakpalua is not on a main road, they will not have access to electricity anytime in the near future. They were the perfect choice for our next solar pilot!

Sam, Shak and I arrived in Sakpalua on Saturday morning for our first meeting with the chief and elders. We learned that most families in the village were using kerosene lamps for light, but many have stopped due the the high price of kerosene. These lamps are not only extremely hazardous to health, but are also horrible for the environment. However, there are limited options other than kerosene and most families have no light in their home once the sun goes down. Many people have cell phones, but must travel all the way to Tamale and pay high prices to charge them. The chief and elders were thrilled to hear about the solar-business idea and couldn’t wait to get started!

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Meeting the the chief and elders. From L to R: Shak reads through the household list; Sam holding up a dangerous kerosene lamp and the awesome Burro lanterns that we will be distributing to the village; Shak and I explain to the Chief how the Burro lanterns use rechargeable batteries.

After returning from the village, Shak taught Sam and I how to assemble Burro’s solar Genset. The system has worked really well in Kurugu Vohoyili and we are excited to continue our partnership with Burro in this next pilot! Shak has learned so much about solar power since his first pilot with Ben and Mark in Wambong and was a fabulous teacher!

Shak teaching Sam how to connect the battery to the inverter.
Shak teaching Sam how to connect the battery to the inverter.
Sam, Yakabu, Kate and Shak testing out the solar panels - everything worked on our first try!
Sam, Yakabu, Kate and Shak testing out the solar panels – everything worked on our first try!

Today we started building the structure for the solar business. We used all local materials found in the village and almost 50 people came out to help build! Tomorrow we put on the roof, plaster the walls and then will bring the solar panels on Monday!

-Kate

Gathering bricks
Laying the first layer of clay bricks
All of the bricks that we used for the solar center were recycled from old houses that had collapsed in the last rainy season
All of the bricks that we used for the solar center were recycled from old houses that had collapsed in the last rainy season
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Sam and I mixing up some clay
One of my favorite parts of the day was watching women from the village walk by on their way to fetch clean water from the water business!
One of my favorite parts of the day was watching people from the village walk by on their way to fetch clean water from the water business!
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Half-way done!
Celebrating a great day of building with all of the helpers from Sakpalua!
Celebrating a great day of building with all of the helpers from Sakpalua!
Cheers!
Cheers!

 

One thought on “Solar in Sakpalua!

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