Thursday, January 11, 2007


After a devastating drought in 2005-2006 that brought the country to its knees, late rains have filled the dams enough to give hope that electricity supplies will soon return to normal. It will take more rain to restore the confidence of farmers and give the country the farming production it needs for economic growth.

The drought and power cuts led the government to revise its 2006 gross domestic product growth forecast to 5.9% from an earlier 7.3%.

With the return of more certain electricity supplies, the School of St Jude won’t need to rely so heavily on its diesel generators, and will get some relief from the $8,000 per month fuel bills.

Here's Gemma with two of her constant companions – Amiri, the head groundsman in charge of all the building stores and Amani, our fulltime electrician, who has the tough job of keeping the school ‘switched on’ in a country with an atrocious power supply.

How many schools have a full-time electrician to keep things working? I guess that this is just one of the many wonderful differences about the School of St Jude.

I keep thinking about solar power. How effective is it in the Arusha district? Are there local suppliers? Can sponsorship help to provide solar power at both campuses? I need to find out more.

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