Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Young Tinkerer Builds a Windmill, Electrifying a Nation

Climateer Investing has had a couple posts on this story. Unfortunately we don't write as well as Sarah Childress of the Wall Street Journal (we do, however, recognize a snappy headline when we see one). From CI:
Windmills in Africa

Africans to Bono: 'For God's sake please stop!'

From the Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Kamkwamba's Creation
Spurs Hope in Malawi;
Entrepreneurs Pay Heed

On a continent woefully short of electricity, 20-year-old William Kamkwamba has a dream: to power up his country one windmill at a time.

So far, he has built three windmills in his yard here, using blue-gum trees and bicycle parts. His tallest, at 39 feet, towers over this windswept village, clattering away as it powers his family's few electrical appliances: 10 six-watt light bulbs, a TV set and a radio. The machine draws in visitors from miles around.

Self-taught, Mr. Kamkwamba took up windmill building after seeing a picture of one in an old textbook. He's currently working on a design for a windmill powerful enough to pump water from wells and provide lighting for Masitala, a cluster of buildings where about 60 families live....MORE (including vid.)

This is probably a good place (and time of year) to relink to another story:
Instead of Buying Carbon Offsets...

...Buy a family in Africa a flashlight.

...I don't know if the Times deliberately left the article on the free side of their registration wall. If it disappears here's a
PDF of the article.
If you've got a website or blog, spread the word;
it's a good story,
light in the darkness.