Out in the middle of nowhere Ethiopia, fresh water and electricity are hard to come by. It is partly for this reason that the country’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has been pushing so hard to implement the controversial Grand Renaissance Dam that will re-write Egypt’s historical control of the Nile River. But DWC, the same people who designed Morocco’s first chemical-free eco pool, have completely transformed life for the villagers of Afto by installing a groundbreaking solar-powered cell-phone charging and water service.
DWC worked with the Ethiopian non-government organization SMART (Sustainable Management of Alternative Renewable Technologies) in order to build a guest house and other facilities.
This place is sometimes referred to as Hyena Lodge (because it’s possible to see these animals while using the outdoor commode or admiring the vast night sky.)
The team also installed a solar tracker with 16 PV modules. Two of these modules are used to to charge cell phones, while the remaining 14 are used to power the water pump.
Water in the 5m³ volume drinking tank is disinfected and polished with UV technology.
Also on the small property is a kiosk, where the villagers line up to recharge their mobile phones and fill their 20 liter jerry cans for a small fee.
Life and Death
While this may not seem like high science, particularly compared to some of the massive solar developments popping up all over our region, in Ethiopia, this center could mean the difference between life and death.
Roughly 10,000 to 15,000 villagers that previously battled to find clean drinking water now have access to a safe supply that will be available to them all year. It’s an incredible project, and it’s not the only one in the country. Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks.
More on Solar Power and Ethiopia: