Solar Needs for Africa Atakpame, Togo West Africa Wednesday, April 25, 2007
A Solar Panel and a Battery for 20 US dollars that will run a Freezer is needed.
Note, I really do not see these people needing much, yes, it would be nice to make them live longer, have a stereo, and TV and such, but these are not needs, they are wants. I do not see hunger, I do see malnutrition and this seems more and simpler to solve, as they need to grow and can vegetables and fruits.
Overall, they have what they need; they just need to use it. India is where poverty and too many people are a serious problem.
I am trying to mix and match needs of West Africa, what is really needed and what is just some perceived idea of a needed in West Africa. I am not sure, West Africa seems very under-populated, most of the people in the Sahara area could move south to the rain type forest areas.
Hmm, there are some long-term needs, maybe to stop cutting down all the trees to use as firewood. Gas seems cheap from Nigeria, if they had any money, they could cook with the pump gas stoves, and stop burning the wood. They do not need this, this would be nice, the still have plenty of wood it appears for another 20-30 years or more, and maybe really forever, hard to burn all of Africa.
Cooking - Wood works, solar does not cook at night, when people eat, the only way to make solar function, the need to have 2 burners run off solar panels and run for about 4 hours per day. Then the cost needs to be about 20 US Dollars for the burners, batteries and solar panels.
Water - Plenty around, I think the long-term storage is a problem, but the Chinese seem to have this covered and there are water towers up or going up everywhere.
Shelter - Red clay is everywhere, not even a consideration to me.
Freezer The problem child, this is needed to keep foods from perishing and to change the mix of diet from a few foods to many. There is no electricity in most villages outside the main roads.
Music, Noisemakers, and Beer - Loud speaker system is why they want electricity, so they can run the bar, have lights and beer that is cold.
Lights - Kerosene and Candles work great, hard to beat, the LED lights are with a battery is slowly become cheaper than the Candles, I doubt the Kerosene. Nepal has this little four bulb light that worked good on one C Battery and they said was cheaper than candle.
In the end, they have what they need; the majority of modern solutions just are not going to work, unless they have excess cash. The direct quality of life as perceived by the Western world is sort of silly in a way, as a goal The place needs mass employers, that could allow a person to make about 5-10 dollars per day, while only working about 3 hours. I do not think you can convince them to give up sitting around, to go and work 8 hours per day, they are hold out for fun and easy money jobs.