On the west coast of Africa, the people of Nigeria woke up years ago to what happens when greed for oil-soaked money tramples citizens’ needs — such as the need for unpolluted places to grow and harvest food, and for useable water in their rivers. Oil money hasn’t changed the fact that only 40 percent of Nigeria’s population can access electricity. It gets worse: Human Rights Watch reports that government corruption and environmental degradation underlie violence and discontent in the Niger river’s delta. Even peaceful fishermen can’t escape the damage; acid rain from oil refineries is rotting their nets.
Maybe the upcoming generation will change all this. Out of Lagos comes a little news item that adds some hope. It’s not just that two students built a fuelless power generator; it is the fact that their stated goal is the goal of so many around the world – to improve the lives of their people with clean energy. Pictured here, Eniola Adewale (left) and Olajumoke Adebayo attend a private academy so they’re likely from Nigeria’s privileged sector, but that’s irrelevant to their accomplishment. Their school’s Junior Engineers, Technicians & Scientists (JETS) club came up with the idea for the project.
They probably searched the Internet and found instructions for building their prototype — maybe on principles taught by veteran inventor John Bedini. If so, it’s a 2010 replay of the decade-old story of the ten-year old girl in Idaho winning a science fair project by following his advice.
Again, a student project inspires by showing other students a different way to view their future. The “invention” in Nigeria was praised at an event titled Innovative Women with Innovative Solutions for Africa, and officials there advised other youths to emulate the two.
According to a business news article sent me — bylined but without the publication’s title — the girls built the invention out of “a locally fabricated step up transformer, capacitors with total capacity 400,000 uf, neodymium magnets, copper wires, transistors, battery, oscillators, bulbs and several other materials.”
(And yes, I will be writing about John Bedini’s and his colleagues’ recent conference in Idaho. Just have had too much on the To Do list since then. It was a milestone event and deserves a longer article than a brief blogpost.)