Heredougou is a remote village of around 4,000 people in a remote part of Burkina Faso, West Africa, one of the world’s poorest countries. Villagers live completely off the grid, although some families do have solar power in their homes to charge phones, TVs, radios, etc. However, the school had no source of electricity at all – until now.
TSO successfully delivered a clean energy project to the village of Heredougou in April of 2016. A solar energy system was installed in the Heredougou School classroom and two teachers’ residences by a local solar energy company (La Source Nouvelle), with oversight by TSO’s local Oak Leader (project manager), Seydou Kinda. The children and teachers of the Heredougou School now have electricity to power laptops and light fixtures (making the classroom usable after sunset). The school also received sixty lanterns, available to students to take home for study in the evening.
In August of 2016, our first solar energy intern, Yacouba Ouedraogo, began his internship with La Source Nouvelle to be trained as a professional solar energy technician. When he completed his internship in January 2017, he became responsible for helping Heredougou maintain the solar equipment to ensure the sustainability of the project. La Source Nouvelle was so pleased with his work, they extended his contract beyond the internship for an additional six months. Yacouba has dreams of starting his own business installing solar panels in local villages, initially in Heredougou and then beyond.
On October 2016, the village of Heredougou officially launched the solar energy installation at their school with a ceremony and celebration. In attendance were the Mayor and Vice Mayor of the Pa district, the Heredougou village Chief, students, the students’ parents, village residents and Kinda Seydou (our TSO project manager). The agenda included speeches, a tour of the solar installation, presentation of solar lanterns to the students, and entertainment (music and dancing).
Please check out an English YouTube video showing the Heredougou School solar project from start (installation) to finish (village celebration). We also have a French YouTube video showing the installation of the panels and lights being turned on in the school for the first time.
This project was made possible by the generosity of Alberta donors, including Pengrowth Energy Corporation, the families of the 2020 graduating students of Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School and individual donors to The Strongest Oak Foundation.