Self-taught inventor powers a village in West Africa using hydro energy

He built a micro-hydroelectric dam for his village using his savings of about R78 000.
Tounkara thinks that people aren’t exploiting the potential of the waterfalls in Bolodou.
Gbasso Creek Guinea

“At first, people in the village thought I was crazy,” says Guinean math teacher Ibrahima Tounkara. “But I was sure that I could find a solution to create power in Bolodou.”

Bolodou is a village in the West African country of Guinea. He says: “Little by little, I did research on hydroelectric energy. In Bolodou, there are little waterfalls and we aren’t exploiting their potential.”

Speaking to France24, Tounkara explained how he used the information he gathered using his phone. Then using his savings of R78 000 (about 5000 Euros) he built a micro-hydroelectric dam in his village.

Hydroelectric power typically produces from 5 kW to 100 kW of electricity using the natural flow of water. Tounkara’s system produces around 9kW of electricity and is positioned at Gbasso creek, which cuts across Bolodou.

From conception to implementation, the project took Tounkara one year. Now, people in his village are paying him a small amount to have access to the hydroelectricity, a cheaper alternative to batteries. The dam now provides electricity to 94 homes.