News / Africa

    Senegalese Villages Turn to Solar Power

    Multimedia

    Audio

    In Senegal, growing electricity shortages are forcing more and more people to turn to one of the country's greatest renewable resources, solar energy.


    There are no power lines running through the village of Langueme, in the Factik region of Senegal.  Like many rural areas here, people here are not connected to the national electricity grid.  But, after years of waiting for power, the local government has turned to renewable energy, installing eight solar panels to power outside lights.

    Village chief Hokhane Ndong says people are no longer afraid to go out at night.

    Ndong says robbers who used to come during the night to steal from the village are not coming any more because there is light.

    Ndong says before the village had light, older people would not leave their houses or send their children out after dark because they were afraid of being bitten by snakes.

    Now, Ndong says family gatherings such as baptisms, weddings and religious rituals no longer stop after sundown.  And, students who used to spend hours crouched beneath the flicker of a candle or flashlight now easily complete their studies.

    Solar power in Langueme is part of a renewable energy project sponsored by the French region of Poitou Charente. Modou Diop is the project's business manager.

    Diop says electricity problems in Senegal can be solved by solar energy.  With a brief rainy season, Senegal has nearly nine months of uninterrupted sunshine every year.  So Diop says solar power is the country's most reliable and easily-accessible source of energy.

    That is why Fatick's regional government partnered with Poitou Charente in 2008 to develop a renewable energy project in Senegal to give light to villages such as Langueme.

    Senegal is struggling to keep pace with rising fuel costs and growing demands for electricity which have led to major blackouts, countrywide.  It is forcing some people to rethink the nation's future energy plans.

    Mamadou Toure is Fatick's regional environmentalist. Toure says that, for many years, the Fatick region has had regular power cuts and people have not been able to work. But, Toure says after installing small solar units to keep computer and phone lines connected, many people can continue working.  He says local businesses are turning to solar power as a backup and some are even relying on it as a main source of energy.

    Toure says the project aims to install solar panels in villages that are unlikely to have electricity 10 years from now.

    Langueme chief Ndong says solar power illuminates health posts and allows people to charge their cell phones.

    Ndong says solar light improves education in the village and makes life safer for everyone, because children used to study by kerosene lanterns that could catch huts on fire.  Now they can study safely during the night.  Ndong says it has really improved their lives.

    Charging phones, illuminating health posts, fighting off snakes and thieves, could solar energy be the future for Senegal?   Project Manager Diop says with the constant evolution in technology, solar units will become less expensive.

    Diop says the future of solar power in Senegal is political, because there is no competition for the national electricity provider, Senelec.  With all the problems of power cuts, he says a gradual push towards solar power should make it a long-lasting contributor to the country's energy needs.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora