By Koffigan E. Adigbli, allAfrica:
A new power plant in the eastern Senegalese village of Kalom is generating more than just electricity. Powered by agricultural waste, the station has lit up homes, lightened women’s domestic burdens and even put a little money in some residents’ pockets.
The 32 kilowatt generator, which uses groundnut shells and dried millet stalks for fuel, was built with 245,000 dollars of funding from DEG (the German Investment Corporation) and German municipal power company Stadtwerke Mainz.
The local midwife, Ami Mbaye, is delighted to have electric lights in the village. She used to rely on storm lanterns when attending a birth at night, but with power in the health centre, it’s much easier to care for patients.
“It wasn’t easy for us to work at night. Now we don’t have any problems. But we do need the government to install some additional equipment to make us more effective,” she told IPS.
“Everyone used to pay 100 CFA francs per device to charge our cellphone batteries,” said Abdoulaye Faye, a teacher in Kalom. “We would give them to a young guy who would take them to the closest town, Fatick, more than 20 kilometres away. Then you had to wait a week to get them back. Now we just charge them at home… Read more