Im Oktober 2015 waren Studierende des Masterstudiengangs Energie- und Umweltmanagement und des Masterstudiengangs Nachhaltige Energiesysteme für das Projekt „Aufbau eines nachhaltigen Energiesystems für Luduga – Ein Dorf in Tansania“ mit dem Projektbetreuer Dr. Günter Wind in Tansania vor Ort – wir haben berichtet. Nun haben uns die Studierenden ihr Reisetagebuch zur Verfügung gestellt – 14 aufregende, intensive und unvergessliche Tage.
Wie alles begann
Stephan Neuberger studierte Energie- Umweltmanagement an der FH Burgenland in Pinkafeld und schrieb seine Masterarbeit über die Möglichkeit, eine kleine Ortschaft ohne elektrischen Strom in der Subsahara mit erneuerbarer Energie zu versorgen. Die notwendigen Daten für sein Konzept erhielt er über Recherchen und karge Informationen des dortigen sehr engagierten katholischen Pfarrers. Stephan konnte jedoch nicht selbst nach Afrika reisen, um zu fundierten Informationen zu kommen.
Er arbeitete zu dieser Zeit im Ingenieurbüro Dr. Wind in Eisenstadt. Dr. Wind, selbst Lehrender an der FH Burgenland, ließ der Gedanke an Luduga, die 2.600 Einwohner Gemeinde in der Subsahara nicht mehr los. Er mobilisierte eine Studierendengruppe der Masterstudiengänge Nachhaltige Energiesysteme und Energie-Umweltmanagement, die mit ihm im Oktober 2015 nach Luduga reiste, um Stephans Ergebnisse zu verifizieren und Messungen durchzuführen.
Vier Frauen, drei Männer, geballtes Know-How, viel Idealismus und außergewöhnliches Engagement
– das war es, was die Gruppe der FH Burgenland ausmachte. Die Reise finanzierte sich die Gruppe selbst, unterstützt durch Spenden der Österreichischen Hochschülerschaft der FH Burgenland und der Studiengangs- und Departmentleiter.
Tutor: Dr. Günter Wind, Participants: Karl Friedrich, Katharina Fischer, Theresa Handler, Markus Jeitler, Sarah Oswald, Claudia Schwarz.
Diary – Tanzania – 2015
day 1 – 4.10.2015 – departure to Dubai
Sunday, 4th of October, 8 pm. The project team meets at Vienna Airport – ready to take off. A thrill of anticipation is noticeable among everyone…
As we had some technical devices in our luggage such as batteries, anemometers, data loggers, cables and some more, we were slightly excited whether they would be accepted at the luggage inspections – luckily all of our equipment was accepted without further questions. Our flight started at 10.40 pm on time. We had chosen the Emirates Airline and soon noticed why this airline does have such a good reputation. They did not only provide us with delicious food but also with pillows and blankets for all passengers.
day 2 – 5.10.2015 – arrival in Dar Es Salaam
Due to bad weather the pilot was forced to change the route and we had to wait one hour for the landing permission. During that time, we saw a wonderful sunrise – there was tight fog over Dubai – only the sky-scratchers reached out of the fog. The weather conditions in Dubai were 28 °C and 100 % humidity!
We had breakfast at Dubai Airport before we had our connection flight to Dar es Salaam. Before departure, we had to wait one hour again as there was a lot of air traffic that morning. It was wonderful to see the impressive constructions of sky-scrapers, the artificial green islands near Dubai and later some natural wonders of red desert and bizarre formed mountains.
Finally, we reached Dar Es Salaam.
Although we had already filled out our visa applications we had to wait for about one hour to finally get our visa.
After that the next challenges were approaching, namely the custom-check due to our special equipment. The custom’s officer was especially interested in Günter’s luggage: “What is this? What’s the value of it? …”.
“The wind-measurement-units are about 20 years old.”, answered Günter and convinced the officer to let him pass the checkpoint.
We took a “No-Bite-shower” to chase away malaria mosquitos and we were warmly welcomed by Father Ado and his companion Aginiwe. Father Ado had had to wait for over 2 hours to pick us up due to our delay.
They brought us to their car and fixed our luggage on top of their Toyota. On the way to the congregation hotel we got our first impressions of African life: In the middle of all the traffic, people were selling water, nuts and other stuff on the street. It took us a lot of time to get to the hotel as we were mostly caught in traffic jams. In the congregation hotel we had dinner and afterwards we tried our first African beer – Kilimanjaro, Safari and Serengeti.
day 3 – 6.10.2015 – Arrival in Luduga
After a short and seemingly restless night we got up at 4 am and started our journey to Luduga.
We finally reached the small village Luduga at about 10 pm.
We were all glad to see that we had double rooms and that there were two toilets and showers for all of us. When we arrived at the Parish of Luduga, dinner was already prepared. There was rice, potatoes, cooked chicken, beans and cabbage – it tasted delicious! After having a short shower we all fell asleep immediately.
day 4 – 7.10.2015 – First working day
Just like all the following days, the first day in Luduga started with a big breakfast in the morning.
There were eggs, bread, jam and honey and our favourite: Africafe!
After breakfast the intention was to get an overview of the village and the life in Luduga. First of all we wanted to go to the chairman of the village – but unfortunately he was busy. So we went to the Ward Office and met two people who were in charge of several departments in Luduga.
day 5 – 8.10.2015 – visiting makambako
As planned, we got up in the morning around 07.30 am to have a short but tasty breakfast. However, everything turned out differently. Firstly there was a damage in the water supply pipe from Ilembula to Luduga, so we had no water available and there was only one chance to take a shower: Use the water of the reservoir in the parish garden, take two bottles full of water and use this water for a shower. Secondly, we wanted to leave at eight or half past eight (there are still many theories about the time) to go to Makambako. But finally, we left at about 10 am in the morning. The reason was that Karl, Markus and Günter wanted to repair the photovoltaic system of the Parish. But the problem was that some of the components were already destroyed and new ones had to be bought.
As father Ado wanted to do some business and to buy some food and stuff for us in Makambako, we decided to join him to get more insights of the life in Tanzania and also to purchase some electrical equipment and other stuff at the market.
We went to Makambako, using the car of the Parish. During the trip, we gave a woman from Luduga a lift to Ilembula.
When we reached Makambako, the first activity was to change money at the CRDB Bank. A car in front of the building, playing loud and groovy music, made us curious. We found out that there was a special “happy customer week” offered from the bank and the car was a marketing strategy. This was probably the reason why it took us a lot of time to change our money.
Later on we drove to the market to get some devices for the installation (2 x 0.75 Ah accumulators, 1 x 20 A charge controller, cables and several installation devices) and to buy some fruits and food for lunch and dinner. Thereby we learnt a lot about the African markets and how business works there. We recognized that there is something called a “special”, which in fact means “higher” prices for tourists. As a result, our first effort to try to buy a water melon for a fair price simply failed.
With the instructions of Father Ado concerning the real prices for all the products, we were finally able to discuss prices for food and to buy some textiles. The textiles had typical Tanzanian design (made in Congo).
After shopping we drove home to the Parish and had a “lunch-dinner”, because it was already half past four. After dinner we made plans for the next few days: what we wanted to do to get more detailed information about the various topics such as water supply, electricity and waste management. In the meantime Katharina, Karl, Markus and Günter made a plan how they would fix the devices for the wind measurements on the church. While visiting the garden of the parish we met several children. They were so lovely, so we decided to give them some air-balloons and a football.
After finishing our work we wanted to take a shower. But as the water pipe was still cut off we had to be flexible and use the sources which were available to wash our hair.
At about 7.30 pm we had dinner, so we were able to discuss our plans for the following days with Father Ado. After that we went to bed, because everybody was so tired due to our city trip and everybody knew that the next day would be an exhausting day too.
day 6 – 09.10.2015 – Time´s running out
On this day we divided the project group in two main teams in order to work more efficiently, completing the tasks we had planned to do. One group was working on the Wind- and PV-Project and the other group was in charge of creating a map of Luduga (Thank you Kathi!) using a GPS-Tracking System.
The day of group MAP OF LUDUGA
At 06.45 am Teresa and Claudia started to make an exploration-run to estimate how far the village Luduga reaches and how long it would take us to make a detailed map of Luduga. As breakfast was scheduled for eight o´clock they ran as far as possible in the time of one hour.
Their run took them to the end of Luduga and to the border of the next village Mpanga. From there they ran in the direction of the other “Border-Village” Igalatiru. But as the time was very short, they had to turn around quiet soon.
After breakfast the project-group MAP OF LUDUGA (Sarah, Teresa, Claudia) went out to mark the most important points and streets of Luduga with the GPS-Tracking-System.
Their aim was to mark the main roads and their distances, the churches and all the devices and stations for the water supply.
As father Ado did not want them to go on their own he asked a 12 year old boy to go with them and show them the village. It turned out that this was a smart decision as the young boy could give them a lot of information about Luduga, especially valuable information about existing water stations.
The plan was to get back by 1 pm as this was the agreed time for lunch. So they started again at the Parish and went in the direction of the neighbor village Mpanga. After reaching the “border” they went back to the Parish to make a short drinking break. On the way back, they used a different route. This way led them directly to the house of the boy’s family. The boy showed them how their house and farm looked like and introduced the project group to his mother. She was really friendly and invited them to come inside the house. But they had to turn down the invitation as they had to be back on time.
At about 11 am they came back to the Parish to have a short drinking break. After that they headed off again to get to the other neighboring-village Igalatiru to mark the main points for the MAP OF LUDUGA. When they left the Parish they were followed by a crowd of children because they were really interested in what they were doing there. Some of the children were on their way home from the school, so by the end of their trip, the number of the following children decreased until every child had reached its home.
Punctually, at 1 pm, they were back in the Parish for lunch. After lunch some of the students were already tired so the rest of the village had to be mapped by Katharina and Claudia in the late afternoon. They started at about 5 pm to go down the road in direction of Ilembula to get to the center of Luduga. They were able to finish the most important parts of the map within 1 ½ hour and then got back to the Parish. After having a refreshing shower at about 8 pm they had dinner.
The day of group Wind & PV measurement
The group got up at 6.30 am for coffee and tea. Afterwards they climbed a ladder to get on the roof where the PV-panels were fixed. On the roof they recognized that only one of the three panels was already installed. The panels were very dirty from the dust so that the first step was to clean their surfaces. Then the team installed the other two panels.
The new batteries and the charge controller were installed too, replacing the old tractor-battery.
After a short time our team realized, that the electricity supply broke down every time there was too much demand. Doing some tests the team found out that the TV needed too much energy. So they installed a bypass construction – TV is now working again!
The next step was another roof-ascent on the church for the installation of the wind measurements.
But the plan got cancelled as there was a wedding in the church.
The team decided to join the celebrations with the young couple – colorful dresses, sweet children, singing people and a very beautiful bride – this was a very impressive moment for all of us!
After lunch the group finally started with the planning of the wind measurement installation.
With a ladder they climbed up on the roof of the church to look where and how they could fix the measurements.
In the inner yard, they saw a tractor from which the former storage battery of the PV-system was taken. But even if the tractor would have had a new battery it would not have been possible to use it as it had four flat tires.
After finishing the construction plan the group headed off to the carpenter to explain how the wooden construction to fix the measurements should look like. As a lightning arrester was required, they decided to use a big iron pipe with some strong cables for this purpose. As some holes in the iron pipe were needed, they had to make a short trip to Ilembula as there are no electrical devices available in Luduga. In Ilembula, they realized that a breakdown of the electricity system could happen faster than expected. To pass the time until the electricity system was working again they went out to visit Ilembula. The highlight was a small bar where they had some beer. When they came back the iron pipe was already finished and mounted on the roof of the car.
After this trip, everyone looked forward to having dinner – but before that they spontaneously decided to repair the PV-system in the secondary school.
Back in the parish we got the lightning thread from Father Augustin: a two-wired copper cable, 10 mm² and isolated – useful for grounding but quit useless as a lightning thread.
Finally, we had dinner all together and spent a funny evening with playing UNO until late at night.
day 7 – 10.10.2015 – kipengere mountains & A new Plan for our measurements
Günter had had a bad night, because we did not have suitable lightning protection for the church.
It would be irresponsible to install the measurement on a long iron pipe on the top of the church, which could lead a lightning stroke right into the church.
In the morning Günter informed Father Ado that we had to cancel the installation of the measurement units: the trees were unsuitable, there was no lightning rod. But Father Ado didn’t give up and suggested the iron bell tower – not quite as high as the church, but better than no measurement.
As we wanted to go to the spring of the parish water system we had to get up early for breakfast. The estimated departure was 9 am. But as every day, we did not manage to stick to our schedule and were late again. So we left with a delay of one hour and drove to the Kimpengere Mountains.
As there are still many problems with the water supply we had to stop in Mpanga and father Ado had some important meetings concerning this issue. Also Claudia and Günter went out of the car to visit the water storage tank which was built by other Austrian project groups. Here we picked up our tour guide for visiting the water spring in the mountains. Afterwards we had to stop in Wangamiko again because Father Ado had some important meetings again.
At the bottom of the mountain (ca. 1600 m) we parked our car and started walking. We went along the water pipe and could also see the storage tanks which are part of the whole system. After around 1 ½ hours we reached the beginning of the water pipe and finally the water spring. We could now see with our own eyes that there was enough water to extend the water supply for Luduga. From the spring we took a water sample and made a short test of the water quality. The results were available a few days later. Then we went down again and got home from a really exciting trip. We were really impressed by the surrounding nature, e.g. the flowers and trees as well as the landscape.
When we came home we once more enjoyed a very tasty lunch-dinner.
Afterwards we went to the carpenter to prepare the construction for the wind measurements on top of the bell tower. Everything went very well and we made great progress.
We were glad that there were some local workers who helped us with our preparations.
They were really well-skilled and worked precisely with simple devices. When it got dark we had to stop and finish the work for this day. The workers offered to help us the next morning at 8 am to fix the measurement on the bell tower. In the evening we had dinner and had a funny time while playing UNO together.
day 8 – 11.10.2015 – surprising sunday
After an early morning (approximately 7 am) there was a meeting with the carpenter at his workplace – unfortunately no time for a whole breakfast, only for a short coffee. A bad start in the day for Karl, Markus, Kathi and Günter. In the workshop the cables for the wind pole and a support to mount the wind pole on the bell tower had to be prepared. With the assistance of some locals it was possible to finish the whole preparation before the mess started.
Meanwhile Claudia and Teresa took a run through the “city” of Luduga to complete the map of the village with the GPS system.
Before going into the church there was some time left for breakfast, so nobody was hungry when attending the mass in the church. The mass was very emotional – maybe it would have been even more emotional for us if we had been able to understand the language Kiswahili. The first hour was very impressive, because the chorus made an excellent performance. Before the mass was over Father Ado introduced us to the locals. We explained why we were in Luduga and gave a short overview about the topics we were concerned with.
Having lunch directly after the mass was not possible as we had to fix the wind pole on the bell tower. Father Ado invited all strong men to help us to fix the pipe with the measurement-units on the bell tower.
Many people came and all were motivated and helped us.
Kathi and Günter managed to connect the measurement units with the data loggers. Unfortunately, the configuration was not possible as Günter didn’t find the mini-USB-cable. So we hoped to find a suitable cable in Njombe the following day.
Teresa, Markus and Karl went to the transformers, the mills, the stores, butchers and all the other buildings having a high energy demand, to estimate the future demand of energy.
On request of the local veterinary, Claudia and Sarah meanwhile visited one of the local springs in Luduga where people used to get water in times of water shortages. The water is taken out of the source and put into barrels so that the solids in the water sample can sediment.
Claudia took a water sample to analyze the water quality. the results were ready a few days later.
When Günter talked to Father Ado and Father Augustin about the USB cable issue, Ado remembered that he owned such a suitable USB-cable. This saved Günter’s day as they now could initiate the data loggers and connect them with the sensors.
Due to all the happy moments of the day, everyone was very tired after dinner, so all of us went to bed early.
day 9 – 12.10.2015 – Monday – this is africa…
On Monday we had originally planned to visit the city Njombe and the Diocese of Njombe. But as Father Ado had an important meeting concerning the still remaining water issue we could not leave on time. While we were waiting, some of us were playing with the children of the village. So we decided to stay in Luduga and tried to do some work which was planned to be done on Tuesday.
Markus, Karl and Kathi stayed in Luduga to get some more information concerning the installation opportunities for the photovoltaic system.
Claudia, Günter, Teresa and Sarah went with Father Ado to Ilembula to meet the water technician from the water office who is in charge of the construction and planning of the water system of Luduga and the surrounding villages. Before that, they had lunch in a – Father Ado called it a “bad” – restaurant. Afterwards they went to the meeting.
This conversation was very interesting because the water technician had a lot of information for us about the design data for water systems and what their actual plans for the improvement of the existing water systems were. The water officer was also very interested in wind measurements and promised us to help us to install a new wind measurement unit outside the villages.
In the late afternoon Claudia, Teresa, Sarah and Kathi visited the primary school while the boys were still working on the concept of the photovoltaic system.
day 10 – 13.10.2015 – tuesday – Visiting njombe
The next day we had to get up early in the morning as we wanted to visit Njombe and also a big biomass plant in a woodworking industry.
On our trip to njombe we saw places which could suit for wind power plants and also a huge tea plantation.
The manager of the woodworking company showed us all parts of the plant and explained their business. Our main aim was to get more information on how the grid-connection of electrical power plants had to be done and if there would be problems with the grid operator. The manager told us that as there was always a huge demand for electricity it shouldn´t be a problem to get a connection to the public grid.
Then we visited the Diocese of Njombe where we were warmly welcomed and got a very delicious lunch.
In the evening we were invited to have dinner in the private secondary school with Father Augustin. Before we had dinner Father Ado showed us the whole school area while we were waiting for Father Augustin. He showed us all the buildings, the classrooms, the dormitory and the spare time areas like a football and a basketball court. We were really impressed by the physical and chemical laboratories as every student in the class has his/her own table and workspace to perform experiments.
Günter, Markus and Karl installed a photovoltaic energy storage system for Father Augustin. When they finished their work we had dinner.
After dinner, Teresa had an appointment with Gibson Sauga, the educational officer.
She talked with him about how waste management could be implemented in the schools’ educational plans.
Finally, late in the evening, we had to start packing again as we left Luduga on the following day.
day 11 – 14.10.2015 – wednesday – to mikumi national park
Again, we had to get up very early so that we were able to leave on time. Before we went to our hotel in the Mikumi National Park we had an important meeting. The bishop of the diocese Njombe had heard of our projects and was very eager to meet us. Because we had not enough time to go to Njombe again, the bishop went to the parish of Makambako (this was on our route to Mikumi) in order to meet us. We told him what we had been doing in Luduga and what our plans were.
He was very interested in our renewable energy concepts.
The bishop told us that he was also interested in bigger projects as they were very important for the development of the whole region. We assured him that it was no problem to connect the renewable energy plants to the grid of the grid operator Tanwatt and that there should be regulated prices in Tanzania. First, he would need technical assistance to plan renewable energy projects and afterwards he would need technicians to perform the maintenance works. Therefore, he would like to send African students to Austrian schools so that they could learn from us.
day 12 – 15.10.2015 – Thursday – Safari
We started our Safari at about half past 6 am as the morning hours are the best to see lots of animals. We were really impressed by the animals we could watch there in their natural life and habitat.
day 13 – 16.10.2015 – Friday – trip to dar es salaam and flight to dubai
We left to go to Dar es Salaam very early in order to catch our flight. We did not expect that such an early start might really be necessary but it actually was as some of our group and also Aginiwe got sick. We assumed that the lunch in the Mikumi National Park must have been the problem. But finally we reached the airport on time where we could rest, refresh ourselves and buy our last souvenirs.
Our plane started on time and we went back home to Austria, stopping in Dubai again.
day 14 – 17.10.2015 – Saturday – flight from dubai back home
In the morning hours we arrived at Dubai airport where we could rest and refresh ourselves until our departure to Vienna.
On Saturday, 17.10.2015, at about 1 pm we arrived in Vienna safely.