Monday, October 05, 2009

Malawi Windmills: Kamkwamba of Masitala

Kamkwamba, who grew up in Masitala, a tiny rural farming village off the grid in Malawi, was 14 years old in 2001 when he spotted a photo of a windmill in a U.S. textbook one day. He decided to make one, hacking together a contraption from strips of PVC pipe, rusty car and bicycle parts and blue gum trees.

Though he ultimately had big designs for his creation, all he really wanted to do initially was power a small bulb in his bedroom so he could stay up and read past sunset.

But one windmill has turned into three, which now generate enough electricity to light several bulbs in his family’s house, power radios and a TV, charge his neighbors’ cellphones and pump water for the village’s fields and household use.
Kim Zetter has the story, w/ video in Wired.

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