Landing in Tanzania: Butiama Environmental Expo

Posted Monday 4 September 2017 by Heikki Lindfors.

When GoSol arrived in Tanzania in May 2017, the goal was to replicate the success our SOL5 has in Kenya among the local entrepreneurs. With sponsorship from Wärtsilä, the very first SOL5 was displayed at annual Butiama Environmental Expo, on June 2nd, in Mara region.

Butiama Expo, June 2nd 2017, 1000-2000 visitors each day.

The expo featured different companies and organizations whose activities are related to the environment and sustainability, and there were 1000-2000 daily visitors at the expo.

Intrigued visitors are checking out the SOL5 at Butiama Expo.

The expo also featured a high-level workshop related to charcoal use in the country. Charcoal use has resulted in serious forest loss around Tanzania, which in turn has resulted in high domestic fuel prices and environmental degradation. There were discussions about imposing a tax on charcoal, as well as concerns that such measures might result in higher use of firewood, because there is no other alternative to charcoal use in the country. Until GoSol arrived!

Does it work? Visitors experiencing the thermal power at the focal point of the SOL5.

With help of our local partner, Global Resource Alliance, we’ve been able to present our technology to visitors.

The SOL5 at Butiama expo was a baking oven, which was designed to also house a roasting drum. The oven was operated by the Alpha Women’s Group, a small bakery business group that was to receive the SOL5 Oven after the expo. They learned the use of the SOL5 within a day, and began to bake with it during the first day of the expo. And after the day’s baking was done, they roasted peanut and sold all these solar goodies to the visitors.

Solar baking for visitors at Bautima Expo. Freshly baked buns are coming out of the SOL5 Oven.

During the first three days of the expo there were rumors about the guest of honor, who would be arriving on Sunday, the last day of the expo. Public secret was that this guest of honor was Samia Suluhu, the vice president of Tanzania, who’s responsibility is the environmental affairs in the government. And on Sunday, this guest of honor was given an honorary welcome; there were two hours of dances and parades first, after which the vice president visited the most interesting organizations and technologies on display. Most interesting being the SOL5 Oven.

Vice-President Ms Suluhu discovering the SOL5.

Madame Suluhu and deputy minister of lands Angelina Mabula were impressed by the SOL5 solar concentrator. The GoSol team is excited to work with the Tanzanian government, to bring the solar solution to the pressing problems of deforestation and high energy prices in the country.

The Butiama Expo was the first introduction to solar thermal technology to many Tanzanians. Next Gosol will work with the government officials and other Tanzanians to bring solar thermal technology for the benefit of Tanzanian people, businesses and the environment!

The SOL5 continued to get many curious visitors all day at Butiama Expo.

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