In this #Villagestory we take you to the village of Dioumantene:
The village of Dioumantene is located in the southernmost region of Mali. The main road between the capital Bamako and the Ivory Coast runs directly along the village. The journey by car from Dioumantene to the Ivory Coast takes only about an hour, which is very favorable for trade and the export of goods. The village of Bananso is also only an hour’s drive to the north. This plays an important role in the history between Africa GreenTec and the inhabitants of Dioumantene.
We are currently in the installation phase of this project. The posts for the power grid are already in place and currently the cables are being laid and electricity meters are being installed. The residents of the village are particularly motivated to get a sustainable power supply for their homes and businesses.
Bananso, located north of Dioumantene, is already supplied with Africa GreenTec’s energy solutions. This, of course, remained no secret and was soon the topic of conversation throughout the region. Therefore, the inhabitants of Dioumantene joined forces and independently collected over 300 down payments (6 million CEFA) to pre-finance their house connections.
The payments are transferred to an escrow account, which is under the responsibilty of the very committed village elder and Africa GreenTec. The money will be transferred to us only when the installations are completed and electricity is flowing. This ensures for both sides that the project will be completed and that enough electricity customers will purchase the electricity for the economic operation of the Solartainer.
When we arrive in the village, a bit tired from the trip to Dioumantene, we see some men sitting together and discussing. It turns out that the village elders are holding a meeting. We keep a little distance and after some time the men come up to us and greet us. “Salam Aleikum! Did you have a good trip?” We answer in the affirmative and are happy about this pleaseant welcome. “Come, we will show you our village!” one of the men says and we get a very personal tour of Dioumantene.
The structure of the village differs from the typical structure of an agricultural settlement. There is no central settlement area and the fields are not located outside the village. The village is divided into five large parts and the fields for growing corn are located directly between the houses. The mango trees, whose fruits, like the corn, make up a large part of the export to Côte d’Ivoire, also grow distributed throughout the village.
This has the great advantage that the farmers and workers live in the village all year round and receive electricity. In other agricultural areas, people do not live in the village during the growing and harvesting seasons, but far outside on farms and in individual huts. For this reason, many of them cancel their electricity contracts for half a year and the consumption and income of the Solartainer fluctuate extremely. In Dioumantene, on the other hand, electricity consumption is consistent throughout the year.
However, the decentralized location of the buildings also brings the challenge that the grid is very complex and requires long cables. This causes higher installation costs and lowers the performance of the network. However, the evaluations and initial tests show that the advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantages.
Thriving trade, short transport distances and good crop yields mean that the population in the village is in a good economic position. As a result, the electricity provided in the ImpactSite will most often be used for cooling food and rooms, as well as for education and entertainment through media. In the region, humidity is very high and it is consistently humid and warm. Therefore, people are very keen on the ability to create more comfortable living conditions through fans.
We too are flattened by the heat after touring the village and are already looking forward to sipping a cold coke at the nearby kiosk. We will keep you informed about the latest developments in Dioumantene in a follow-up blog article!
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