Goumera is located north of the regional capital Kayes. Due to its location in western Mali, it is not far from Senegal and Mauritania. Because of the lively trade with neighboring countries and a pronounced diaspora – i.e. people whose roots are in Africa but who currently live in other countries, such as France or Germany – Goumera has good financial conditions compared to other villages we visited in Mali. Due to these conditions, the former village was able to develop into a small town with a lot of potential.
The community has its own village treasury with which the administration is organized. The Sonnike community living in Goumera are very enterprising and especially the traders profit from the transit traffic. Goumera’s size and location were therefore perfect for setting up a regional warehouse and office for Africa GreenTec, from which we can now supply materials to five other villages and dispatch technicians.
As in many other villages in Mali, the electrification of Goumera was planned before the turn of the millennium. The former operator, together with the government, implemented an approximately 9-kilometer-long power grid 10 years ago. However, the power supply with diesel generators was never finally implemented. Before we could set up our Solartainer in the north of the city, there were long negotiations about the exact location. The residents had only known loud, smelly diesel generators and feared that our Solartainer would also generate a lot of noise and disturb the dead in the nearby cemetery.
When everything was settled, we were enthusiastically welcomed in May 2018. The children had practiced a song especially for Africa GreenTec, which gave our team one of the most emotional experiences of our work until then. We were able to use the already existing power grid as the basis for our own smart meter network.
Since then, the small town has changed even more. Goumera was already very lively before our arrival; particularly in the southern core, the scenery is dominated by several large mosques, a savings bank and robust two- to three-story houses. With the street lighting now in place and electricity used for consumption, the positive hustle and bustle on the streets has increased and people are now enjoying the evening hours together. You can also see from the numerous new buildings in town that the diaspora, motivated by the electrification of the small town, is once again investing more in real estate back home.
Due to good financial conditions, most people book our larger electricity tariffs in order to be able to privately operate televisions, refrigerators and radios. The productive electricity is of benefit mainly to the tradesmen at the thoroughfare and the merchants, who set up a fresh-fish delivery service to Mauritania, e.g.. Here we see a lot of potential for our Cooltainer to further optimize the cold chain in the future. .
In the northwest of Goumera there is also the Peulh settlement, surrounded by large herds of grazing cattle. The best cattle in Mali come from this region. This is why there is also a biogas pilot plant, powered by the cow dung, next to the Solartainer.
We hope we were able to give you a small impression of the friendly village and look forward to reporting more from Goumera in the future.
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