A second attempt with Blogger. (Now No Longer in Beta) Note: The contents of these pages are my own personal views and in no way represent the views of the agencies for which I volunteer or the countries in which they are based. Peace.

Solar Shopping

Installing solar roof tiles
Installing solar roof tiles is an example of BIPV (Building Integrated Photo Voltaics).

Photovoltaic systems are becoming cheaper and more efficient. Increasingly, for sustainable architecture, or "green building", manufacturers, architects and builders select materials traditionally used to clad the building envelope that incorporate photovoltaics and typically replace the conventional building materials.

Such building materials are referred to as BIPV (Building Integrated Photo Voltaics). According to Jill and Sarah, there are now:

I live about one kilometer from a Home Depot Store. Mike Yamamoto announced via CRAVE, The CNET Gadget Blog, that now at Home Depot: solar power systems

The home-improvement empire has partnered with BP Solar to provide solar-power systems, according to Treehugger, with services that include free home consultation, installation and follow-up inspection. The Home Depot solar page also links to a national database of state incentives for renewable energy and a special calculator so you can estimate your potential savings.

I just donated $1000 to the R.E.A.L. Women's Clinic Capital Fund, and, while I have resisted posting a follow-up on Nabuur, I have gone Internet Shopping (Who goes window-shopping these days?) for solar panels since I believe that their site would benefit from solar power. For instance, since LEDs are more robust than traditional lightbulbs and use relatively little power, their use combined with installation of solar panels could provide lighting very much needed in a medical clinic.

It would seem that when a solar roof becomes a reality for the clinic, Kamenge Commune shoppers will have to go more than one "click". It would seem the nearest solar system service is from Solar Energy for Africa in neighboring Rwanda.

On the other hand, writer Simon Grose contributed an Editorial Opinion to Cosmos Magazine and his observations made for a good reality check. "Wind and solar power are enormously appealing as planet-friendly sources of energy - but those who think we can completely rely on them in the future are dreaming."

Neema Mgana

Berkman Fellow, Ethan ZuckermanNeema Mgana

In WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future, Ethan Zuckerman (October 21, 2006) reports on Neema Mgana building a network, which resulted in the building of a clinic.
Neema Mgana came to Pop!Tech last year as part of the African fellows program, a program that Global Voices helped organize with Sun Microsystems and the UN. She’s the leader of a remarkable AIDS treatment program in Tanzania, and was the youngest nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

She heard Cameron Sinclair speak about Architecture for Humanity and was inspired to ask the question of what AfH might be able to do in a rural Tanzanian village, Ipuli. Ipuli is a nine hour journey from Dar Es Salaam, involving a bus to Dodoma, a train to Singuida and then travel by land.

While about 100,000 people live in Ipuli - 15,000 of them children under 5 - there’s no accessible local healthcare. The nearest hospital is 80 kilometers away, a journey that involves crossing a river that can flood dangerously. Patients sometimes arrive strapped to the back of a bicycle, or carried in a wheelbarrow. To get a referral to major hospitals, like Muhimbili hospital in Dar, patients need to visit one of these smaller clinics and get a letter of referral.

Cameron helped Neema find a pair of French architects who were willing to come and work in Ipuli. They have designed a pair of facilities - a mother/child clinic and a health training facility, which includes offices, classrooms and labs. The buildings are designed using local materials and craftsmen - wooden louvers, metal gates - and have sharply slanted roofs to collect 20,000 liters of rainwater for the center. The construction of the facility is helping train workers in the community, and is supervised by community elders, who donated 10 acres of land to the project.

The project is also being supported by a Boston-based engineering firm, Haley and Aldrich, and another Boston solar firm, Tamarack Energy, which are funding the project in part, and providing technical assistance, to allow the facility to have power and water. The generation system uses solar and wind energy - the water system pumps water into two, 10,000 liter tanks.

There’s an amazing web of partners that make this project possible. Once the project is built in Ipuli, future projects are planned for South Africa, Rwanda, Ghana, Uganda - they’ll be joined electronically to share health information and best practices across the continent. It’s an inspiring example of what Pop!Tech connections can make happen.

P.S. The one with the shorter hair is Neema.

© 2006 Blackbird | Blogger Templates by GeckoandFly.
No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.
Learn how to make money online | First Aid and Health Information at Medical Health