By Olimatou Coker
& Rohey Drammeh
The first solar taxi for Africa was yesterday launched in Manduar, West Coast Region.
Launched at the Manduar Development Hub, the bringers of the initiative hope it would benefit the local economy in ways not previously possible.
International experts have been working with local tradespeople at the Manduar Development Hub to establish the technological initiatives that also include the ‘Smiling Food Co,’ an innovative project aiming to transform Gambia’s surplus food resources into profitable ventures for local communities, and a sustainable brick production machine that could revolutionise constitution in the area.
Dr Rupert Gammon , of the Institute Energy and Sustainable Development at De Montfort university Leicester (UK), one of the bringers of the initiative, said: “We are delighted to launch Africa’s first solar enabled taxi service here in Mandura village.
“The ‘Solar Taxi’ relies on an integrated solar power network that we have been working to construct here at the Manduar Development Hub.”
Mr Gammon said the systems that are being developed at the Hub are not about simply providing people with electricity.
He said: “The whole purpose is to give access to sustainable, afforadalbe and reliable energy and mobility services to developing countries and communities.
Lamin Jarju, ward councilor for Kombo Marakissa, thanked the bringers of the project, and said their benevolence will go down in history.
“This gesture shall always be remembered,” he said.
He urged the youths to make “best use of the opportunity and take ownership of the Solar Taxi.
“Some communities have been yearning for such but couldn’t get it,” he stated.
Speaker after speaker including the Alkalo, Ba Jerreh Bojang, thanked the initiators.