Tanzania Solar Installation Project 2011

We need to raise approx €3,000 to cover the costs of two volunteers

Fritz Raake and Tim Hehir travelling to Songea.

You can Sponsor Fritz or Tim using Paypal

Sponsor Tim

Sponsor Fritz

Bank Details: SWF AIB Macroom Sort Code: 93-61-38 Acc No: 14143085
IBAN: IE80AIBK93613814143085 SWIFT: AIBK1E2D
Address : Macroom E Business Park, Bowl Road, Macroom, Co. Cork, Ireland
Reg. in Ireland: IE 480900 CHY19207

The project in Tanzania is being carried out in partnership with the monks of Glenstal Abbey. They have long standing links with a Benedictine order in Southern Tanzania, near Songea. One of the Glenstal brothers, John O’Callaghan approached Solar Without Frontiers last year to ask for advice and support for a solar project as a solution to the ongoing lack and instability of power at the educational facilities of the Abbey. John has been going every summer with a group of students from Glenstal to work there as volunteers and they have helped in setting up a computer room and education programmes in IT. This year, they have raised in the region of €25,000 for the purchase of solar PV equipment which is currently being delivered to Hanga. Earlier this year, Solar Without Frontiers agreed that they would contribute to the project by travelling to Tanzania and installing the PV system at no cost to Glenstal or Hanga.

The aim of Solar Without Frontiers is to bring solar power to disadvantaged communities in Africa. To date, their projects have involved sending solar powered lights to villages where the only source of light at night is from wood fires or kerosene fuelled lanterns. Using wood and kerosene in small huts is unhealthy, expensive and unsustainable not to mention dangerous in terms of fire hazard. In addition, the quality of the light is poor, often leading to vision problems for people.

Sending sunshine to Africa???


West Cork People, Febuary edition 2011

Solar Without Frontiers is a West Cork based charity set up by Cork energy consultants to support communities in Africa in accessing free solar energy.

This is the first solar energy charity of its kind in Ireland and it was launched here in Clonakilty last November at the Sustainable Energy Fair. Operating from Macroom headquarters, SWF has taken on its first big project, which is located in Songea, Tanzania.

Tanzania is located in East Africa with Dar es Salaam as its capital and Mount Kilimanjaro as its most famous spot. Songea is situated in the south of the country and in March two members of the charity will be flying out there to install and commission the solar PV system. Tim Hehir from Carrigaline and Fritz Raake from Macroom are currently packing their bags for an exciting and worrying trip at the same time. The system, which SWF designed and which was paid for by Glenstal Abbey in Limerick, was shipped out in May, having arrived in November in the port of Dar es Salaam. Now the challenge for Tim and Fritz is to fundraise enough money to bring them both first to Dar es Salaam and then to Songea, which is about 10 hours from the capital by bus. They need to raise around 3000,- Euro together to get there and back again and to give them all the necessary backup in case of emergencies. It is a huge commitment to go out there and install this solar system with little technical back up, should there be any difficulties. The trip will last 2 weeks, which will hopefully give them enough time to finish the installation. But as Tanzanians say in Kiswahili, everything there is pole, pole (slowly, slowly), laid back, just like in West Cork, so will they have enough time?

The solar photovoltaic system, which was funded by Glenstal Abbey, is going to a Hanga Abbey school in Songea to power a computer lab for students. The solar PV modules will generate nearly 3.5 kW of electricity, which will be stored in batteries and therefore replace the old, rusty and unreliable generator in the school. Up to now this generator has cut out many times during computer lessons, so a safe and reliable energy supply is necessary. Because a grid supply is not existing in rural Tanzania (the same as in many other African countries) people have to rely on generators, which are expensive and only affordable in community institutions or for the rich, or no electricity at all. Therefore many families have no electricity and that is where SWF comes in again.

To improve people´s lives electricity can play a huge part. Many people use other fuels such as wood or charcoal for cooking or kerosene for light, because there is no electricity and batteries are expensive. But these fuels can be harmful to their health and the environment, accelerating deforestation, desertification and global warming. A solar lamp or solar cooker can improve both health and environment and costs very little if people are given the chance of a micro-credit in their own communities to avail of solar power. SWF works with partner organisations in the target country to give people the opportunity to use a solar light or cooker in their homes, which will not only improve their health, but also their way of life, giving them the opportunity to learn and work after nightfall, which is around 6 pm near the equator. Often kerosene or charcoal is very expensive and people have to walk very far to find firewood, exposing women especially to the danger of rape or assault (i.e. in instable regions). But also forests can be destroyed for wood and charcoal, giving way to erosion and desertification. In this case a solar lamp can be paid off in 7 months worth of kerosene without harming eyes, lungs and trees. To find out more about the products supplied by SWF, please go to www.solarwithoutfrontiers.com

Your Donation counts!
Obviously, the target of 3000,- Euro has not been reached yet. Therefore we would ask you to help with even the smallest amount of money to send Tim and Fritz out to install the solar system. We need lots of support from West Cork to make this project happen!!!

You can donate money by:

logging on to www.solarwithoutfrontiers.com and paying by paypal
sending us a cheque (made out to SWF)
transferring money to our account
Bank Details: SWF, AIB Macroom, Sort Code: 93-61-38 Acc No: 14143085
IBAN: IE80AIBK93613814143085 SWIFT: AIBK1E2D
or dropping into the office in Macroom E, Bowl Road, Macroom.

We are ever so grateful for your support and will keep you posted on our success!

Solar Panels are handed over to McEgan Students


Lee Valley Outlook April 2009

Solar Panels are handed over to McEgan Students

Self Help for Kenya
McEgan College students, Maria Kalavska and John Thompson, and teacher, Maureen McAdam, went to Kenya with Self Help on April 6th and hope to visit locations there during their stay. Before their departure, Maresa Gieles of Solaris Macroom presented them with solar lanterns which her company has kindly donated to Self Help Africa. Solaris have been established for the past 12 years providing solar panels as alternatives to Fossil Fuel Water heating systems.

They have formed a Foundation “Solar without Frontiers” and hope to get funding to provide Solar powered lighting systems to homes in Africa who at present are reliant on Kerosene lanterns for lighting their homes after dark. The McEgan college contingent hopes to pilot these lanterns in schools and community centres in rural Kenya and will monitor their usefulness over the next six months. If the trials are successful, then it is hoped to expand their availability, for a small cost, to family homes. The sale of these items will be financed by micro credit from co-ops in the areas which are supported by Self Help Africa. It is then hoped that the money generated would allow larger systems to be purchased for the community to power refrigeration units for health centres and water pumps systems. Solar Power is the cleanest power source and can be harnessed in African countries using photo Voltaic panels which convert the light from the sun to electrical energy.

While in Kenya the group will be visiting Baraka Agricultural College. Here SelfHelp Africa assists in the training of Farmers in growing better yielding crops and more cash crops, also in Beekeeping. They hope to meet up with John’s grandaunt, Sr Mary Denise Kearney (formerly Eli Kearney ) of Millstreet. Sr. Mary Denise is Principal of the Local Baraka Primary School.

McEgan college is already twinned with a school in Ethiopia and hopes to further this by setting up a twinning with Baraka Primary School while in Kenya. McEgan College Self Help Africa would like to thank all the people of Macroom & district who, in spite of the recession, donated so generously to this worthy cause.

Picture: Maresa Gieles of Solaris Macroom handing over some of the solar lanterns donated to Self Help Africa. The McEgan College students Maria Kalavska and John Thompson with teacher Maureen McAdam spent Easter in Kenya with Self Help