Testimonials: “Pot@maï”, green, socially responsible energy in Republic of the Congo
Launched in 2019 on the initiative of “Pot@maï”, a French non-profit organisation specialising in renewable energies, with the support of the ENGIE Foundation, this programme will help to sustainably improve the living conditions of the 3,000 villagers living in Loubassa.’ It is a worthwhile project that once again fulfils the Foundation’s commitment to providing access to energy for all, and it could not be achieved without a green conscience. Testimonials!
A human adventure, a technological challenge
In a region where 90% of the rural population suffer from high levels of energy poverty, the Pot@maï association, supported by the ENGIE Foundation, is developing a unique programme granting access to green energy for the residents of Loubassa village, around 10 km from Brazzaville. The aim? To build and develop a floating tidal turbine capable of powering an “Essential Services Unit (ESU)” in Lyon, then to install it on the Congo River to supply power to almost 3,000 villagers, a first in Africa!
Commissioned in the coming weeks, the ESU will produce drinking water and electricity, store and process food products and power equipment for handicrafts, agriculture and livestock farming. A local company will then manage and maintain the site. Finally, the site will also be used to train and provide jobs for the region’s young craftspeople and farmers.
Françoise Matondo, resident of Loubassa
“It’s really difficult to buy petrol here, and there’s a shortage of drinking water. We have to cross the river to buy water in Brazzaville. Going back and forth each time, there are a lot of expenses. We are glad that the village is moving forward with this project. We will also be able to keep fish fresh and sell them locally. Here, there is no hospital. We would like to have a health centre. And instead of seeing young people just hanging around, we would like them to get professional training on the project site.”
Maguelonne Chevallier Loubelo, Chief Delegate of Pot@maï
“This project was born when I had the great privilege of visiting the Congo River and meeting its residents. Rubbing shoulders with them, talking to them and working together to build a lasting solution to the shortage of drinking water and fish preservation means. Working on this project presents technical, socio-economic, organisational and cultural challenges, which can sometimes seem insurmountable, but it is a unique experience. The desire to see the ESU in operation thanks to the Hydro-Gen tidal turbine – which owes its existence to the ingenuity and unerring motivation of David Adrian – and the curiosity of witnessing what users will make of it are the drivers of success! Many people have joined us in this adventure and I would like to thank them.”