The last three months have been busy around here. Comet-ME was working on two issues in particular – fund raising and completing our work in Susya.
I will start with the good news: Comet-ME, using funds obtained from the German representative office in Ramallah and the Firedoll and Sparkplug foundations was able to complete the installation of solar home systems to all the families living in Susya. Most of July and the beginning of August were dedicated to the purchasing, construction and finally the installation of six more family solar systems in Susya and the upgrading of the community utility center we built in March. The installation itself was great. Very intense, and hot, but rewarding, with some of the families having to wait for their turn almost a year. The process took several days in which we worked with Susya maintenance team, the families and many of our friends (including a group from Engineers Without Borders – Israel).
On the left you can see the new system we installed with the Abu Malesh family whom we got to know while working on the installation of the utility center in March. The system there is a typical family system with three bulbs and an electricity socket to power a charger or radio. This time around we wired the electric cabinets ourselves, to reduce costs even further, and changed the operation voltage of the systems to 220V AC so as to allow the users the freedom from specialized DC equipment – they can now use regular light bulbs and appliances.
On the right you can see Noam trying to figure out which way is which with the turbine upgrade. The whole system is now more powerful then before and can power two refrigerators; a welcome addition two weeks before the Ramadan and the heat of the desert.
On the fund-raising front we had some success in the early summer when we were approved the three grants I mentioned above but, on the other hand, two substantial grant we were hoping to get now seem out of the question as the funding organizations themselves are under the burden of the economic crisis. We are now hard at work trying to develop new directions but it might take a while.
At this point you come into the picture – help us continue the work we do. Spread the word.
One more thing, last but most definitely not least. The BBC world challange is an annual competition for grass root organizations that bring social and environmental change. Comet-ME is very proud to be selected as one of the 12 finalists on the competition. The winner will be chosen by open internet voting that will start on the 28th of September. There is still some time to go but we will need each and every one of you to vote (for us, we hope) and get everybody you know to follow suit.
Comet-ME : Community Energy Technology in the Middle East
visit us at: http://www.comet-me.org/