Blog of Eva Wissenz

GoSol on the road to Kenya

Posted Friday 1 April 2016 by Eva Wissenz.

In this vblog, Lorin Symington is sharing his concerns, determinations and... tiredness before leaving to Kenya for our project in cooperation with the Weconomy program of World Vision Finland.
It’s not an easy life to try solving energy poverty!! Lorin is our best builder. He prototyped, built, maintained and improved dozens of solar concentrators in Mexico, Canada, Haiti, Mali, South Africa, France and Finland. As we are a team of field people, we all would have loved to be with him in Kenya but even at distance the connection is strong and we share our best vibes with him!


Starting in Kenya with World Vision

Posted Tuesday 29 March 2016 by Eva Wissenz.

Almost all our team was in Paris to meet with our partners, Fondation Rexel and Fondation Deloitte, and briefed Lorin before his departure to Kenya to start a great project in cooperation with World Vision Finland and World Vision Kenya. Here is for you a short glimpse of this prep moment.


In Nigeria with SF Green Resources

Posted Thursday 4 February 2016 by Eva Wissenz.

We are so happy to announce the beginning of the project in Nigeria with our partner SF Green Resources ltd.

Abiodun Alabi and Funsho Folabi are two super motivated (and motivating) guys and we know they are going to make an awesome job with their team in Nigeria. The project starts now in Jos, Plateau State of Nigeria, which is known as the home of peace and tourism and very mountainous in nature.

The GoSol team is super excited for things to start in Nigeria!


Deloitte Foundation becomes a GoSol.org sponsor

Posted Monday 23 November 2015 by Eva Wissenz.

We are happy and honored to announce that the Fondation d’entreprise Deloitte is becoming a new supporter of the GoSol.org initiative.

Deloitte is an international company providing audits, consulting, financial advisory, risk management, tax and related services, worldwide. Created in 2008, this foundation is active for education and solidarity. Learn more about their commitment on their website.

Private sponsors are allowing us to move faster to make real solar thermal solutions happen for the people who need them most.


Meeting the Yier Ngima Support Group in Kenya

Posted Tuesday 17 November 2015 by Eva Wissenz.

World Vision is one of the biggest NGOs in the world, in the field every day to support compassionate, educational and sustainable actions. Through the Weconomy program of World Vision Finland, we have started a partnership to bring our solar tech to Kenya, showcase the Sol4 oven in two communities and support people’s access to a free, clean and efficient energy.

The Yier Ngima Support Group is producing organic peanut butter and the women could benefit from solar thermal in the drying and roasting processes.

This group is also supporting HIV affected people and orphans in the area and innovates with new activities such as beekeeping and poultry. By helping these groups to thrive in their own businesses, we can support the families’ income generation, empower the women and support the children of these villages.

With the Weconomy program of World Vision Finland and in collaboration with World Vision Kenya and the local women’s groups we will organize next Spring a training session and implementation project.


10 Km from Civilization - the GoSol Solution

Posted Tuesday 27 October 2015 by Eva Wissenz.

We are very honoured and happy to publish this blog post from Gabriel Ojobo, Country Manager at SF Green Resources Nig. Ltd., our partner for our next mission in Nigeria.


"Taking a ride from Jos, the capital of Plateau State in Nigeria to Jebbu Bassa is just a fifteen minute drive and from Jebbu Bassa to Zagun and Binchi communities of Bassa Local Government Area is twenty minutes.

What is interesting here is that Jebbu Bassa doubles as the host community for the 3rd Armoured Division of the Nigerian Army and headquarters of Bassa Local Government Area. Compare Jebbu Bassa and Binchi communities which are just 10 km apart and you will see a vast difference. For example, Jebbu Bassa is connected to the electricity grid and they enjoy a reasonable amount of electricity while Binchi community, though connected to electricity grid, rarely has electricity.

More so, Jebbu Bassa has a well connected road network from Jos but from Jebbu Bassa to Binchi, a tarred road has been a dream for many generations as expressed bitterly by the locals. For me, this is the least of the problems confronting this isolated community. What really got me dumbfounded and stunned is the untold daily suffering of the farmers and women caused by lack of irrigation water in their surroundings.

Rural Farmer in Binchi watering with gallon.

I discovered that the Binchi farmers have to travel long distances to fetch and carry water gallons on their heads at night on a regular basis. The most bizarre part of this story is that these farmers have to leave home after supper to go to dry streams and dig deep to access water which they use to irrigate their farms. It is so difficult to comprehend this situation if one is not on the field to witness it. Farming is the only occupation and means of survival for the people of these communities and they have successfully passed this profession from generations past to the present one.

I heard stories of how farmers plant around February with the hope that the raining season will help to irrigate their farms but only to end up disappointed and suffer investment losses due to irregular rainfall that has been the order for some years now globally. This can be linked directly to the negative impact of climate change which the Binchi farmers do not even know exists due to illiteracy and lack of information on how to cope. And when you talk about inputs, the sorrow of these farmers is just unimaginable! Access to important quality inputs like fertilizer, pesticides, seeds etc. is virtually difficult. In the words of Reverend Seth Amadik, a passionate native of Binchi community who took us to this place, ¨I was born here but presently working for the church in Jos. My people have continued to languish in these hardships since before I was born several decades ago and yet no changes till this day¨ he said with a sour expression on his face.

Another touching aspect of this story is the domestic energy challenge facing the communities even though it is a common problem in Nigeria as a whole. Women regularly criss-cross the length and breadth of surrounding bushes, mountains by foot, sometimes as far as 5 to 7 kilometers just to fetch firewood for cooking warm food. Valuable and productive time is being wasted on sourcing firewood and water needed for basic chores with very little or none available for any money earning activities. Their health suffers from long time inhalation and accumulating effects of staying in smoky conditions while cooking.

Woman fetching firewood in Binchi.

The tale of these communities is thought-provoking and needs urgent redress with a solution like GoSol solar technology. GoSol brings an instant solution to the vicious energy poverty that has bedeviled communities like Binchi for decades and handicapped their progress towards better livelihood. Nigeria generates around 6,000MW of electricity presently leaving a shortfall of about 194,000MW needed for sufficiency. Fossil fuels like kerosene, cooking gas and epileptic electricity remain scarce and expensive to use, putting deforestation pressure on our already destroyed environment. The alternative is clean energy that is safe, cheap, mobile, environmental friendly and efficient. GoSol solar technology combines all these attributes and also empowers entrepreneurs, rural farmers to independently secure the energy they need for their activities.

Finally, I wrote this story to invoke a conscious re-awakening in the way we see our neighbors and environment. My wish is that we will have it somewhere in our heart to do something about this situation which I know is common all over Nigeria and beyond."

More about energy poverty in Nigeria here and here.


Rexel Foundation becomes a GoSol.org Sponsor

Posted Wednesday 16 September 2015 by Eva Wissenz.

We are proud to announce that the Rexel Foundation for a Better Energy Future is reinforcing their support for the GoSol.org initiative by becoming a sponsor.

Learn more about their commitment to social entrepreneurship in our earlier blog post presenting them.


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