Thursday, February 23, 2006


We've not had running water for nearly three weeks. The people that came to drill our borehole a year ago pulled a fast one and didnt dig it deep enough (it happens a lot). You have to go at least 20 metres down to hit constant water, whereas our is about 5-10 metres. There was some rain last week, but not enough. Everyday I look at the sky for portents of precipitation, but the clouds remain impassive. The trouble is, once there's rain, the roof will start leaking again. Most houses in Abuja are jerry-built, and ours is no exception.

Meanwhile, the low-cost solar industry in Kenya grows apace - read this article on Timbuktu Chronicles. Why hasnt this happened in Nigeria yet? One thing that amazes me in Nigeria is that there is NO use of solar water heating. The houses of the rich and nearly rich always have electric-powered water heaters (most of the time, one for each bathroom). In a warm tropical climate this makes no sense at all. Why not have blackened radiator-like units on the roof linked in to the water supply? In the 30+ degrees environment of Abuja or Lagos this would provide constant hot water night and day.

Finally, all eyes should be watching the Ugandan elections. Is there going to be something resembling fair play, or has the pleasure of power secreted itself so deeply into Museveni's cranium that Besiege's supporters will not have a chance? There are obvious parallels with Nigeria - Uganda being up until recently a model African State thanks to its reform programme, then a returnee comes home, firing off dreams of eternal rule in the incumbent. We dont have the returnee bit (yet?), but we do have people dreaming of decades in power..


Anonymous,  11:49 am  

Hi Jeremy - checkout

Anonymous,  11:59 am  

Thanks Barbara for this information. I haven't trying to crack my brain about the Sisters of ND and I just couldn't remember their full info. Thanks again.


Anonymous,  4:15 pm  

Jeremy/Barbara et al.

Based on the information given in the Sister article the panels and batteries for each site cost US$100,000 and each site is costing US$250,000. Apart from the panels and batteries there will be a need for some inverters and electrical works. I am suprised that this comes to US$150,000 though(even including 'engineering' works)as it is kind of an aid project.

I am not sure of recent prices but wholesale panels in the US for this type of order would be around US$4/watt of panel power. Assuming they are using the biggest panels which are generally 120 watt this gives a cost of US$21,600. Which means US$33,400 for shipping and duty. Seems a bit expensive... I don't have the battery prices to hand but will look and see.

As for satellite monitoring what the blazes are they talking about. If someone is providing that free then take the cash instead. If the Sisters are trained as it says in the article then there is no need for 'experts' monitoring via satellite. I am a bit staggered at the cost - but without having more details can't say mcuh more...

If there is a contractor or Americans involved you can bet it will be over the top!

By the way Jeremy solar is capital intensive and that is one of the reasons it hasn't taken off as well as it should. It is very very expensive, it is never cheap (in capital terms anyway). I am abit out of touch but one of the main applications is water wells. However, if you put a solar system the cost of the solar system will pay for another hole or two... Mr Senator which would you choose...

The Pope has a few extra bob floating around from his newly charged royalites. Lets see if we can get him to drop some of it for the Sisters....

Devil's Advocate - just doin' my job

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