When a humble villager from Yobe Nkosi, Malawi, created a makeshift dynamo to power his home in 2006, he did not expect his invention to provide electricity for his entire community!
“Once more villages and schools have electricity, people will no longer cut down trees for charcoal,” says inventor Colrerd Nkosi. And students “will have a lot more time to study.” One of them explains that “before we had electricity here, we used to use candles to study. Now, we all have no excuse but to pass our examinations.”
To generate electricity, Nkosi used the stream that ran next to his house to activate the pedals on his bicycle. He fixed it to a makeshift dynamo made out of an old fridge compressor. The water-powered turbine generated enough electricity for six households. Today, the village has a bigger turbine made of the motor of a disused maize sheller, and its cables running over two kilometers carry the power to the whole village – including a school! Local councilor Victor Muva is now urging the government to fund Nkosi’s work and help provide all of Malawi’s 19 million citizens with access to electricity.