The Solar for the Masses expedition has come and gone. In 17 days (not 36 as we had thought!), we traversed the 36 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The road trip started on Wednesday, May 26, 2010 and ended on Friday, June 11, 2010. Team Solar Jooce covered a total distance of 9,309km.
As we drove through villages in every state to provide basic solar appliances to primary healthcare centres and micro-businesses - and to recruit rural women for training as Solar Engineers - our objectives were two-fold:
1. to show the possibilities of using solar to meet the Millennium Development Goals [End poverty & Hunger; Gender Equality; Universal Education; Child Health; Maternal Health; Environmental Sustainability; Global Partnership]
2. Regenerate economic, educational and social activity at the grassroot level.
We were (and still are) guided by three important quotes:
"Power supply is crucial in stimulating economic growth, ensuring poverty reduction and employment generation, and enhancing economic competitiveness." - Nigeria's President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan
"Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." - US President, Barack Obama
"Our world possesses the knowledge and resources to achieve the Millennium Development Goals." - UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon
Expedition Kick-off Date: Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Departure Location: Crystal Palace Hotel [Plot 687 Portharcourt Crescent
Off Ahmadu Bello Way, Area 11
Host: Maj-Gen. Sam Momah (rtd)