Let’s consider this Futureq feature a very special feature. It’s the story of Kamkwamba, who took it upon himself to figure out the science and the tech, the work, the resources, needed to deliver to his community the electricity they so desperately needed. Don Quixote fought windmills to fruitless ends, while Kamkwamba made windmills that delivered power.
From Science Times – Kamkwamba was kicked out of school when he couldn’t pay 80 dollars in school fees, and he spent his days at the library, where a book with photographs of windmills caught his eye. “I thought, this thing exists in this book, it means someone else managed to build this machine,” he said. Armed with the book, the then-14-year-old taught himself to build windmills. He scoured through junkyards for items, including bicycle parts, plastic pipes, tractor fans and car batteries. For the tower, he collected wood from blue-gum trees.
…..Now, he has five windmills, the tallest at 37 feet. He built one at an area school that he used to teach classes on windmill-building. The windmills generate electricity and pump water in his hometown, north of the capital, Lilongwe. Neighbors regularly trek across the dusty footpaths to his house to charge their cellphones. Others stop by to listen to Malawian reggae music blaring from a radio.