Friday, June 22, 2007

Windmills in Africa

Here's an alternative to the UNDP, Tobin tax, Africa isn't responsible approach to development.

First, one of the most disgusting stories I've got in my bookmarks:

"Zimbabwe to chair UN body"
Zimbabwe has won approval to lead the UN body that promotes economic progress and environmental protection despite protests from some Western countries and human rights organisations.
From Al-Jazeera

Now, one of the most inspiring I've seen in a long time:

William Kamkwamba

Via Francis, Ladies N' Gennlemen. Please welcome Mr. William Kamkwamba to the blogosphere. As Meskel Square points out, William is one of the cheetahs. Not, definitely not, one of the hippos.

William Kamkwamba, the Malawian schoolboy who built a windmill out of spare parts to power his rural home at the age of 14. He followed instructions from a book. "I tried it and I made it," he said to a standing ovation.

In more detail:

I built my first windmill when I was 15. Over the next few years I kept refining the design. I made many modifications to the plans i found in the book. For example, I increased the blades from three to four to provide more power output.

The windmill now powers lights for 3 rooms and a light over our porch outside. I also use it to power my family's two radios. I also can charge mobile phones that the neighbors have.

In November of 2006, the deputy director of the MTTA, Dr. Hartford Mchazime found out about me while visiting the library where his organization had sent the books. He asked to visit me at my home to see the windmill. He asked me many questions about how I had built it. I will explain in detail in my next message.

Dr. Mchazime brought several journalists to see the windmill, among them Sangwani Mwafulirwa, reporter for The Daily Times, one of Malawi's largest newspapers.

As a result of the publicity, Dr. Mchazime was able to raise enough money to send me back to secondary school. I've been enrolled for a trimester at a boarding school about an hour from my home on the way to Lilongwe.

Worth reading the whole thing.

I lifted this directly and in toto from Tim Worstall. Thanks for putting it on the WWW Tim.