At Solafrique I mainly work on the bookkeeping and the introduction of our enterprise resource planning tool. Beeing distributor of Faso Energy, we visit their PV module factory at Ouagadougou.
With our Swiss second hand bicycles from Velafrica/Faso Velo, we cycle to our solar water and power station in Wapassi, an unnelectrified suburb of the capital. Solafrique is connecting the neighbors with water pipes and electric power in the next weeks.
The next day, I may attend the drilling of a well with our own drilling machine. The engaged team of 8 Burkinabe is now drilling wells new nearly daily, followed by the team which installs the piping, the solar water pump and the photovoltaic modules.
We take the bus to Bobo-Dioulasso to visit the 5 ha land where we intend to establish a solar training center and/or a solar park. And we see the progress of the new irrigated gardens of Notre Soleil. In a similar project in Songo 2, more than 30 woman can earn a basic salary cultivating vegetables on one hectare.
The Lycée Technique La Vision was built in August/September 2021 in Pô and now hosts 86 students, currently installing the computer room for the Rasperry Pi computers brought from Switzerland. Also 50 „Guide Pratique de la Photovoltaïque“ and other books are handed over for the library.
It is my pleasure to cycle to the highest spot of Burkina Faso with the students on Saturday, climbing Pik Nahouri. On that day, the president is arrested and the military takes power - no informations are available over the weekend. I try to head down to Ghana with the bicycle, but due to Covid, they don’t let me in.
The one and only elephant I saw so far in Western Africa says hello on the way from Pô to Bagré.
In this rice producing area, a new large rice mill is established, for which we offer a solar power supply. We have a good dialogue with the local Sonabel staff and hope to find an agreement on the grid connection and feed-in conditions.
I try to cycle toward Benin via Togo, however now Burkina Faso closed the terrestrial border. So I have to go back to the capital and fly to Cotonou on January 29th.
I can visit the solar mill installed by Nexus which I financed last year. The provided e-Bike has a problem with the rear break after 1800 km, however it still works for cycling back to Cotonou.
We visit the installation of a 5 kWp PV system of Ameen on a pharmacy and the 10 kWp with salt battery working since April 2021 at the honorary councilor of Austria.
On the weekend, Electromand shows us the 3 restaurants he equipped with solar refrigerators and his own ice production and solar mill. And we enjoy the beach.
On the way back from Comé, we visit a large wood factory at Allada and offer them a solar power supply. Visiting a small village allows us to feel the rural life. They manually dug a well of 70 m depth. This was cheaper than a well drilled by a machine, and provided well paid work for 3 laborers for 3 weeks, however the working conditions are incredible.
Back in Cotonou, we prepare the installation of a 25 kWp system on a policlinic and organize the missing material.
Having the vision of a solar ferry in mind, we visit the local boat builders which are great craftsmen.
The trainee of Ameen is heading for a training at the Don Bosco Solar Training Center in Ghana, and there we discuss the future implementation of the Swiss salt battery in Western Africa.
Don Bosco successfully tested the salt battery in Accra/Tema and installs for me 5 kWp with 9 kWh salt battery on an orphan home in Accra.
A final highlight is visit of a 20 MW solar park, another park with 50 MW went into operation last year and will be increased to 300 MW, including 1.5 MW floating.