Tanzania - Biogas & Solar

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The Global Catalyst Foundation (GCF) is developing a project in Kasulu, Tanzania, situated near the border with Burundi, designed to promote economic developmnet and entrepreneurship along with cooperation and understanding between Burundian refugees and Tanzanians. GCF is funding three Internet centers - one located at a UNHCR operated refugee camp at Mtabila, the second at the Kasulu Folk Development College, and the third at the Kasulu Teacher Training College. They employ solar PV or biogas power sources.

Kasulu Teachers Training College - Cows and Computers

The Kasulu Teachers Training College (KTTC) has a well resourced lab open to students from the college, as well as the general public. Internet is provided via a VSAT connection to l-way. The l-way connection offers capacities of 128 Kbps down and 30-40 kbps up. The Globabl Catalyst Foundation pays the $500 per month fee for the connection.

KTTC teachers and students are studying for the International Computer Driver's License (ICDL) and CISCO Academy certification. About 10 students from town are studying spreadsheets, databases, etc.. from the ICDL curriculum. The KTTC laboratory is powered by methane biogas. Manure collected from 12 cows is fed into a 50-cubic-meter biogas plant that generates methane. The methane is then mixed with diesel in a 70:30 ratio and used to drive a generator which produces 10 Kilowatts of power. This power runs 15-16 computers for eight hours daily. A UPS system provides for a 30-minute power backup.

Mtabila Refugee Camp

The Mtabila Refugee Camp, which houses 50,000 refugees settled from Burundi, uses PV solar cells to generate power for its 10 computer lab. The Mtabila Refugee Camp has two arrays with 24 panels and a large battery bank. On average each day, 30 refugees use the center to access the Internet. They are charged approximately 20 cents per session.

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