Gaspar Makale

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Gaspar Makale (right, in hat) teaches a solar workshop in Kigoma, Tanzania, May 2005.
Solar training course at the KARADEA Solar Training Facility (KSTF), 1996, Gaspar Makale (front row, first on right), Daniel Kithokoi (back row, first on right) Mark Hankins (back row, first on left) (click for higher resolution)

Gaspar Makale (1960 circa. to December 2007, Tanzania) was one of the pioneers of solar electrification in East Africa. During the 1990s he was the Chief Solar Technician at the KARADEA Solar Training Facility (KSTF)[1] in Karagwe district, Kagera region in Northern Tanzania, situated between Lake Victoria and Rwanda.

KSTF, the first dedicated training centre for solar energy technology in East Africa, was founded by Oswald Kasazi in 1993. During the following decade KSTF gave regular three-week long training courses which were attended by people from all over East Africa (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Somalia) as well as from further afield. The courses were held in partnership with Alternative Energy Africa (EAA), run by Mark Hankins[2] and Daniel Kithokoi,[3] who were based in Nairobi, Kenya. Gaspar Makale managed the practical sessions as well as arranging for the field-trips during which course participants installed solar electric domestic systems in the Karagwe district.

KSTF also ran a solar apprentice scheme for which Gaspar Makale was responsible. He was also involved in other solar training courses in Tanzania, such as the one held at Wasso Hospital,[4] Maasailand, Tanzania. Course participants, many of whom later went on to set up solar businesses and work in the growing East African solar industry, got their first hands-on experience of installing solar electric systems under Gaspar Makale's experienced and expert guidance. He installed an Ampair Hawk 100 wind turbine at KSTF for charging batteries, the first wind turbine installed in that part of Tanzania. He also ran his own solar business.

While working with KSTF, Gaspar Makale installed numerous solar systems in local schools, hospitals, clinic refrigeration systems, two-way radio systems, domestic lighting systems. He also installed systems in the refugee camps that sprung up in Karagwe after the Rwanda genocide in 1994. He made one trip to the USA where he attended solar and wind energy courses at Solar Energy International[5] in Colorado, USA. He also ran a solar-powered disco in his own village where he lived with his family on a small farm.

Gaspar Makale also worked closely with Harold Burris of Solar Shamba,[3] one of the very first people to see the potential of solar electricity in East Africa, and with Frank Jackson[6] from APSO (the Irish state overseas development agency), who worked at KSTF during the 1990s.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.www.karadea.org/kstf/
  2. ^ Solar Electric Systems for Africa by Mark Hankins, Kenya, ISBN 0-85092-453-7, ISBN 978-0-85092-453-4
  3. ^ a b From Space to Earth – The Story of Solar Electricity by John Perlin, published by Aatec Publications, USA, ISBN 0-937948-14-4, ISBN 978-0-937948-14-9
  4. ^ Solar Electricity in a Maasai Hospital by Mark Hankins, published in Home Power Magazine, USA, Issue 64, April/May 1998
  5. ^ SEI: Welcome to Solar Energy International
  6. ^ Photovoltaics for Professionals, English language adaptation by Frank Jackson, published by Solarpraxis AG, Germany, ISBN 3-934595-43-X