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Valley of 1000 Hills Photo Essay
by James C
Africa / US Energy Ministerial Conference & Women in Energy

Maphephetheni, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa •• Dec. 15, 2000 •• SolarQuest® iNet News Service •• Myeka School Computer Centre
On Wenesday, 13th of December, Ministers as well as the press at the conference where able to experience first hand the conditions that rural people in South Africa are faced with. They all took part in an excursion to Maphephetheni, just outside of Durban, in the beautiful region of Valley of 1000 Hills.
The first stop on the tour was to Myeka High School, where a unique project is underway. Electrification in the area is virtually non-existent, so the school uses solar energy in order to power their computer centre and the rest of the school. Pupils use the computers to access the Internet via satellite and lessons are beamed directly into the classrooms.

Solar power in action
The school uses three different panels that have been donated over the past three years. The Solar Engineering Service made this possible by facilitating the project.

Read Zanele's article here.

Read Prudence's article here.

Solar power rig close up

The Ministers' visit the water peddle project
The next stop on the tour was to a water project that is underway in the community. In order to make the subsitance vegetables grow, a water pump has been developed that does is not electrically powered, but human powered! The Ministers took great interest in the mechanics of the system.

Water peddle in action
The water is pumped through the system when somebody stands on top of peddles. The throughput is approximately 1-2 litres of water per second, which is roughly the same as a garden tap.

The beautiful area
The final stop on the tour was to an extremely beautiful area. A biomass system has been installed as a pilot project.

The Biomass Project
By using cow manure, methane and other gases can be extracted in order to provide light and heat.

Read Prudence's article here.

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