During the International Solar Day 2018, held in Oslo on May 16, we signed the agreement for the purchase of four more villages; this in addition to the two already delivered.
The International Solar Day is an annual event gathering representatives from the Norwegian solar industry, sponsored by Norwegian Energy Partners and Solar Energy Cluster Norway.
The picture shows Mr. Morten Schøyen, CMO at Eltek and Dr. Stein Skjørshammer CEO of SunErgy signing the agreement; Eltek being the “solar equipment” supplier.
We shall “electrify” eight villages this year. No shortage of work. With the equipment for the next six villages ordered and delivered, we are well under way.
Enclosed is a picture of Mundongo, the next village to be “switched on”. Work is going full speed ahead with the solar powerhouse and the site finished. Soon the dedicated people of SunErgy Cameroon will start building the grid, wiring the homes getting ready to switch on the lights with almost 600 families or 3 600 people having access to electricity, cable TV and Internet. Moving forward! One village at the time.
It was much happiness and joy when we finished and opened the solar power station at Bishop Judith Craig`s Children’s Village outside the capital city Monrovia, Liberia. Children and staff were jubilant!
70 children, some who were made orphans during the Ebola epidemic that plagued the country in 2014, live in the village together with the staff. On the same campus is also a school with more than 600 children. As of last Friday (Oct . 26) the people at the village and the school can enjoy electricity as it was switched on.
Below are some pictures taken by our engineer Piotr Kwasowski, who was responsible for the installation. The pictures are from the village and the opening ceremony. The ribbon was cut jointly by the bishop of the United Methodist Church in Liberia, Bishop Quire and a former resident at the village, Mason, who was one of the first children at the opening of the village some 20 years ago and their first university graduate. The two holding the ribbon is Debbie and Aron who will graduate from the school next spring, leaving the village to continue their university education. Both want to study medicine to become medical doctors “so we can help the people and our country”.
Back to the 70 children and the 12 Big Macs! The total cost to keep a child at the village (food, lodging, education, etc.) adds up to 1 USD per day while the price of a Big Mac in Norway is almost 6 USD (5.91 USD to be correct). Comparing the two numbers; 12 Big Macs pays for 70 children for one day. The idea of comparing the children and the Big Macs is not to give a feeling of guilt or keeping anyone away from enjoying their Big Mac, rather to remind ourselves and put the Big Macs into a different perspective from what we are used to. Or in a historical perspective, think of the billions of Big Macs that has been bought and enjoyed since the start of MacDonald’s in 1948 in its more than 36.900 restaurants with more than 1.5 million employees in over 100 countries around the world. We don`t even want to start calculating; only one days consumption of Big Macs would be mind-boggling. It may be a crazy calculation and comparison, but sometimes it is good to be a little crazy in our thinking. Outside the box! And besides, the divide between failure and success is all too often shockingly slim; in this case, just a few hamburgers.
Finally, this whole project was sponsored and paid for by the United Methodist Church, Board of Global Ministries in Norway. We were just grateful being selected to do the job based upon our experiences in Africa.
Enclosed are the latest pictures from Kotho 1, taken today.
The pictures show the solar park and the batteries installed. We will start charging the batteries next week getting ready for September 8. Do we need to tell that the whole village is filled with excitement and expectations? 8 of September cannot come soon enough! Generations of waiting are over. Light is here. Hopes and dream coming through!
A big applause and salute to Mr. Mike Fohba, Managing Director of SunErgy Cameroon and his team! They have been working hard and diligently under extreme condition, this being the rainy season.
Guys, we salute you! You are real heroes!
Posted in 2017
- Tagged africa, business, cable TV, Cameroon, electricity, energy, entrepreneurship, happy people, helping Africa, helping communities, internet, new jobs, renewable energy, solar energy, SunErgy, west africa
stressed a council member in one of the ”SunErgy villages” at my visit to the village last week. ”We are eagerly waiting for you to bring us more electrical household equipment. Now we have television and radio. Are able to charge our mobile phones. Please bring us the rest. We want what you have in Europe!”
My take from this is that as soon as people get access to electricity they also get a craving for all the amenities going along with electricity and which you and I take for granted, such as hot water boilers, hair dryers, cooking plates, refrigerators, etc. Everything, which improves life and make it easier; like us they want the good life! There is no difference.
Believe it or not, by the end of this year, we will have brought and installed an estimated 8 000 light bulbs, more than 1000 television sets and radios, hundreds of hot water boilers, hair dryers, shaving machines. More than hundred refrigerators, freezers and washing machines in addition to streetlights, computer rooms in schools, etc. The numbers are awesome with more (much more) to come as the project moves forward.
The council member did not ask for freebees. He did not beg. On the contrary, people pay for what they use or get, whether electricity, cable TV, Internet or any electrical household appliances. They buy!
People are willing to pay as we make it available. And we will!
Posted in 2017
- Tagged africa, business, Cameroon, electricity, energy, entrepreneurship, happy people, helping Africa, helping communities, renewable energy, solar energy, west africa
On my last visit to Cameroon (May 13-22) SunErgy, a sister company to 2 Mites entered into an agreement to the tune of an estimated 23 million USD with the Bororo Fulani (tribe). The plan is that SunErgy shall provide 100 Bororo villages or 33 000 families with solar electricity, Cable TV and Internet.
The project is fully financed by the Republic of Cameroon and the Islamic Development Bank. Banja will serve as the pilot and when successfully up and running we will move to the other villages.
The Bororo people, who used to be nomadic herdsmen, occupy many parts of Central and West Africa. Today they mostly live in smaller villages such as Banja, still active in agriculture and cattle rearing.
The picture shows (right to left) Managing Director of SunErgy Cameroon Mr. Mike Fohba, initiator and manager of the project Professor Alfred Ndi and Managing Director of SunErgy/2 Mites Dr. Stein Skjørshammer standing on a future solar plant site.
Posted in 2017
- Tagged africa, business, Cameroon, electricity, energy, entrepreneurship, happy people, helping communities, renewable energy, solar energy, west africa
Here is a picture from last week visit to US for a two day meeting with Microsoft and New Sun Road at Microsoft`s office in San Francisco.
The plan is that New Sun Road, located at University of California at Berkley will deliver prepaid electrical meters with Microsoft providing software, including Microsoft Cloud Services.
Picture shows participants from New Sun Road, Microsoft and SunErgy.
Our business is truly international, bringing partners and products together on a global scale, enabling the world’s disadvantaged to move towards a brighter and more prosperous future.