David Gilet, Byron Bay
In regard to sustainable villages – I recently watched a documentary on giraffes in the country of Niger. The people, their domestic animals, and giraffes all seemed to coexist pretty successfully. There was footage of giraffes and people within metres of each other, basically ignoring each other. But there were problems. First the giraffes were driven away from the waterholes in the dry season to allow cattle to drink, which meant the giraffes only had access at night. Second, although it was against the law to cut acacias, the giraffes’ main food source, the people were too poor to be able to obey it. Third, the giraffes ate their bean crop.
It occurred to me how a renewable energy power source would transform these people’s lives. Electricity could be used for cooking, lighting, and refrigeration. It could also power pumps, small workshops, and electric fences to protect the bean crops. If such a system were applied throughout the Third World, maybe along the lines of the Bangladeshi small loans scheme, the world could be transformed.