By now we’ve shared a lot about the Botshabelo community and culture and we also want to take a moment to talk about the reason for our visit, the Botshabelo Solar Panel Project. At present, the Botshabelo community relies entirely on hydro electric power provided by the national energy provider, Eskom. Due to under-developed infrastructure, South Africa frequently experiences power shedding. Power shedding involves cutting power for hours, sometimes days at a time. The Botshabelo community relies on power to pump water and cook food for their many children and this provides a serious risk for the community should they be without power for extended periods of time.
Moreover, we’ve concluded that it takes a great deal of power to run their village. Preliminary estimates from the data we’ve collected suggest that Botshabelo requires more than eight times the amount of power required to run the average home in North America. Recognizing this problem, we know with certainty that we’ve partnered with Botshabelo at a crucial time and are therefore looking forward to helping elevate the quality of life for our new friends.
So in between all of the fun, what did our team get up to during our visit to Botshabelo? Project integrity is at the top of our priorities, so before we jump to designing the solar panel installation, it’s important that we have a full picture of the community. Under the fearless leadership of our Project Coordinator, Matt, we successfully surveyed the entire Botshabelo property. This includes their electrical system, waste management system and water pumps, to name a few things. Now that we’ve returned home with spreadsheets full of information, we’ll be analyzing the data and consulting with subject professionals to ensure we’re providing an innovative and sustainable solution to their current power issues.
A project of this undertaking requires a great deal of resources. So over the next several months we’ll be coordinating various fundraising initiatives to fund the Botshabelo Solar Panel Project. We’ll also be collaborating with local solar providers, architects and environmental professionals as we build out an effective design and installation program. We are looking forward to the upcoming challenges and triumphs as we see the Botshabelo Solar Panel Project through to it’s successful completion.
We’ll be posting updates and information throughout the course of the project. Stay tuned to learn more about upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, and project updates.