Structural storm damage in a house near Neo 1 site
From chilly Lesotho wishing you greetings this month in our first newsletter since 2020 upended everyone's expectations. Here in Lesotho we had a 5-week national shutdown in responsonse to the COVID pandemic in March-May, but as essential services (electricity providers) our team has been busy the whole time. During that period we kept our minigrid online, worked on some key maintenance to the infrastructure, and developed a training program so that anyone working from home could be improving their skill base.
And since then things have been busy on both of our project fronts. The Neo 1 PV Powerplant Project supported the reconstruction of a home that was destroyed during a recent storm. The house belongs to a community member in Ha Ramarothole, a widow looking after 8 children. After hearing about this incident and the context, 1PWR and the Neo 1 Consortium quickly decided to fully finance the reconstruction of the home as a matter of corporate social responsibility. The Neo 1 project purchased all materials and labor to rebuild the home, and the community pitched in with volunteer labour. We are happy to report that the house is now structurally complete and ready for the family to use!
Meanwhile at Ha Makebe Energy Access Fellow Maphoka Seleke conducted a follow up survey for our initial customers who have been connected to minigrid electricity for over a year - the response was overwhelming that electricity has transformed their lives for the better. We are also setting the stage for construction of the full minigrid: communicating to the community the proposed locations of electricity poles for feedback, setting up a community counsel to manage sign-ups for connections, and putting in orders for all of the components that will be needed. For those of you who may be interested, in the "links" section I am also sharing overhead footage of Ha Makebe taken by drone, so you can see the site from a bird's eye view.
We expect the next 3-6 months to be incredibly busy with construction at Ha Makebe, manufacturing facility upgrades, and planning for our next 8-10 minigrid locations. I am looking forward to sharing more in the next newsletters!
I hope everyone is staying safe and productive. Cheers,
Everyone pitches in to unload rebuilding materials
Professional Mason laying bricks for the new house
Widow and family at their new home!
Followup survey at Ha Makebe by Maphoka Seleke