UPDATE Oct. 2012: We’re happy to report our first four Zili Dlo solar mothers left to go study in India at Barefoot College on Sept. 29, 2012 to become the first Barefoot college solar engineers from Haiti. See our preliminary photos at:1. Zili Dlo: 2012 -Solar power and clean water for Haiti , and at 2. Fon Batis mountain hamlet, Arcahaie, Haiti. Subscribe to our Newsletter, check this website or follow Ezili Dantò on Twitter and Facebook to follow their journey.
Zili Dlo: Solar engineers for Haiti
April 20, 2012 by Ezili Dantò for HLLN
Photos of the Zili Dlo project on the EziliNetwork, our FB pages, Flickr and on our blogs, taken August 2011 for our Bwa Kayiman.
This summer, for Bwa Kayiman 2012
Join Ezili’s HLLN in partnership to help transfer skills to form new Haiti solar engineers producing renewable energy-powered products; to educate our Haiti communities on prevention, boiling their water if possible and if not, on the four ways of solar disinfecting water, killing pathogens including cholera, with solar power.
Be part of the solution to create infrastructure in Haiti: clean water, sanitation solutions, electricity, communication with Haiti rural women as solar engineers. (See, Bunker Roy: barefoot movement.
Our project, Zili Dlo: Clean Water for everyone in Haiti, uses a solar run water filtration and purification system that has the capacity to make 30,000 gallons of clean water per day. Our system is integrated. Could supply electricity and communication but we use it for filtration and purification only at the moment, which we’re fundraising to maximize by getting water trucks to increase distribution (Photos of project – Support Zili Dlo: Dlo pwòp pou tout moun – Zili Dlo: clean water for everyone in Haiti. Make a donation at this link.)
Ezili’s HLLN proactively pushes solar power to make Haiti’s rural women and urban poor less dependent on the NGOs and non-renewable energy.
WATCH THIS VIDEO and envision barefoot solar engineers for Haiti.
Zili Dlo wishes to expand, not only the Zili Dlo water cleaning with sun-powered filtering and purification, but the type of training and skills transfer, for instance, that the Barefoot College in India has done. We’ve reached out to their contact person and are studying their process. Ezili’s HLLN envisions Haiti grandmothers planting and pressing Jathropa for biofuel, grandmothers building necessary appliances like solar cookers to cook without
charcoal, batteries, wood or kerosene; having a renewable energy way (solar panels) to re-charge cell phones, light a desk lamp, run radios, TVs, make easier mobile phone money transfers. We envision Haiti grandmothers having the training to build solar panels, solar powered lamps and promoting Haiti solar programs such as their rural electronic workshops, Rain Water Harvesting, rooftop rain water harvesting, solar powered desalination and other barefoot college training for Haiti women. We envision that Haiti’s impoverished women will know how to electrify their households with solar lighting units and assume the responsibility of repair and maintenance in rural and urban communities. (The women bringing solar power to Sierra Leone; African Huts Far From the Grid Glow With Renewable Power; Video: Alternative Pour Haiti Energie Solaire ; Mobile Money in Haiti.)
Educational video to share widely to prevent more cholera deaths
Clean Water is life and Health for Haiti: Support Haiti-led, Haiti-capacity building. Support Zili Dlo – Clean Water for Everyone in Haiti. An education on the use of the sun’s renewable energy would bring forward a self-confident and self-reliant Haiti. Zili Dlo envision harnessing the power of Haiti’s sun for clean water, electricity, communication, domestic production and relevant jobs. This summer, help Ezili’s HLLN provide opportunities and transfer relevant skills to form new Haiti solar engineers. Envision barefoot solar engineers for Haiti.
Join our fundraising committee or book an Ezili Dantò presentation to learn more about Zili Dlo. Help Ezili’s HLLN raise funds to finance education for Haiti’s solar engineers and water trucks for more clean water delivery for our communities. Write to
firstname.lastname@example.org.Donate to this work. To learn more go to Barefoot College in India.
The Haiti women who run and benefit from Zili Dlo
Meeting some of the Zili Dlo women beneficiaries
The women of SOPUDEP, August 10, 2011 | Photo credit: Kesler Pierre, HLLN
|Ezili in Miami
||Ezili on RT
||Ezili Carnegie Hall
||Ezili Bwa Kayiman
Ezili Dantò, Rea Dol and the Zili Dlo beneficiaries, August 10, 2011 |Photo credit: Kesler Pierre, HLLN
Ezili Dantò speaking with Cuban doctor at Mirebalais hospital about the UN-imported cholera epidemic in Haiti and first cases diagnosed by Cuban doctors at the Mirebalais hospital, Oct. 2010. Photo credit: Jean Ristil Jean Baptise for HLLN
Human Rights lawyer Ezili Dantò is dedicated to correcting the media lies and colonial narratives about Haiti. A writer, performance poet and lawyer, Ezili Dantò is founder and president of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN). For updates, join the Ezili HLLN’s Listserve. Learn more at the website .
Video: Alternative Pour Haiti Energie Solaire
The women bringing solar power to Sierra Leone
An Indian college has trained 12 Sierra Leonean women to become solar engineers as part of a drive to bring electricity to rural communities
Source: The Guardian
A group of 12 women from villages in Sierra Leone is in the frontline of a battle to bring solar-powered electricity to rural communities. No small feat, given that rural Sierra Leone is not connected to power.
The women were all trained at Barefoot College in Tilonia, Rajasthan, in western India. They are now back in Sierra Leone assembling 1,500 household solar units at a new Barefoot College in Konta Line village, Port Loko district, which is to be formally opened next month. They sit at long wooden tables fitting tiny coloured resisters to circuit boards – heads tilted, deep in concentration, as smoke puffs up from their soldering irons.
The women are all either illiterate or semi-literate – they used to be subsistence farmers, living day-to-day like millions in Sierra Leone. But now they are proud graduates, having travelled 6,000 miles to India to learn – in the women’s words – “how to make light from the sun”.
“The idea of solar was so surprising that I had to be a part of it,” says Mary Dawo from Romakeneh village.
“Snakes, rodents, reptiles and biting insects crept and crawled into our homes with the dark at 7pm. Children couldn’t study, and we couldn’t relax, socialise or plan our lives after a long day’s work,” says Fatmata Koroma from Mambioma village.
The Barefoot College in Sierra Leone is the first in Africa. It will enrol up to 50 students on four-month residential courses in solar engineering. The Sierra Leone government has invested about $820,000 in the project. Though the college is funded by the government, the women hope they can run it independently, in what they describe as the “Barefoot way”. The solar equipment the college runs on, and the equipment for 10 villages, was provided by the Barefoot College in India, and the initial training was sponsored by the Indian government as part of its south-south co-operation programme.
“In India, the first problem was vegetarian food,” says Koroma. “The desert was too hot and everything was different. But, within months we could assemble circuits and construct systems. Anything was possible after that.”
The graduates now live in the college hostel, where they will stay until they have trained their replacements “for the service to our villages and our country”, says Nancy Kanu. She was in the first female batch of students to train in India, in 2007, the same year that Konta Line village, where she’s from, was declared the first solar village. She is now chief solar engineer. “Iteach full-time, but I’m on call – even at night – to fix a fuse, change a bulb or charge a phone,” she says.
People interact differently now in Konta Line, says Aminata Kargbo. “People socialise more – they’re nicer,” she says. The advent of solar energy has saved the village about $1,000 in candles and kerosene so far; money that is being kept for the upkeep of solar equipment.
However, the solar units are expensive [$500-$800] and far beyond the reach of most rural households. “There’s a 45% import tax â¦ You need electricity to manufacture solar equipment here,” says Idriss Kamara of the Safer Future Youth Development Project. The local NGO tackles the country’s 60% youth unemployment, training people in vocational skills, including solar. But, Kamara says, few solar trainees find work because hardly any households use it. The government says it is looking to reduce the tax so benefits are passed on to customers and access to solar power increases.
However, while Sierra Leone’s government supports the Barefoot College project, people have wider energy needs, says Yvette Stevens of the ministry of energy and water. “We are developing a broader rural energy programme focusing on community, productive and social needs,” she says. Renewables such as solar, biofuels and hydro form the basis of this programme, supported by an upcoming World Bank project. “There’s a lot of donor money for renewables now, given their impact on climate change,” says Stevens. The government envisages local solar systems will provide power for clinics and schools, and for “water pumps, communal television, and computer centres”, she explains. Energy is not set out as a separate MDG, but it’s vital in meeting them, she says.
Sierra Leone is still catching up after the lost years of the decade-long civil war that wiped out the country’s fragile infrastructure. More than 60% of people (about 3.6 million) live rurally. Few can afford generators. Even in urban areas, more than 90% of people go without power.
A recent World Bank report states that electricity is Sierra Leone’s most daunting infrastructure challenge. This, despite the new Bumbuna hydropower plant, which has improved the situation in the capital, Freetown, a little during the rainy season, providing nearly half the city’s demand. Nevertheless, rural areas lag far behind. Sierra Leone records 46 days of power outages a year, which is four times higher than in other low-income African states.
They may be a small part of a bigger strategy, but Sierra Leone’s Barefoot women are thinking about the future. “Once these units are installed, Ithink we’ll need an investor to manufacture solar units here to make them affordable for everyone,” Barefoot College graduate Kanu says. “There’s nothing we can’t learn now to make our lives better. We have the power to change our villages.”
Beyond Fossil Fuels
African Huts Far From the Grid Glow With Renewable Power
Thanks to this solar panel, Sara Ruto no longer takes a three-hour taxi ride to a town with electricity to recharge her cellphone. More Photos Â»
by Elisabeth Rosenthal, Dec. 24, 2010, Source: New York Times
KIPTUSURI, Kenya — For Sara Ruto, the desperate yearning for electricity began last year with the purchase of her first cellphone, a lifeline for receiving small