Solar lamps made from bike parts change lives in Mali

CINZANA (AFP) – Mobile solar-powered streetlamps made from old bicycle parts are transforming lives in Mali, where villagers often work by night to escape the heat despite 90 per cent having no mains electricity. The project is the brainchild of Italian architect Matteo Ferroni, who visited the Segou region, 235 kilometres (150 miles) northeast of Bamako, in 2010 and noticed the locals were mainly sleeping during the searing day and getting up in the evening to work. “Soon I realised how important is night time in a community accustomed to glimmering flashlights and moonlight,” he says on his website.Some of these flashlights, he noted, were petroleum lamps which — apart from being dangerous to work with — provide a flickering light which might be inadequate for the work of a butcher or a seamstress. It was then that he hit on the idea of a simple, mobile alternative made of a recycled metal pole, propping up a rechargeable LED lighting unit and attached to an old bicycle wheel which could be moved easily from place to place as required. –
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