*School depends on solar energy
Mercy Girls High School, Mbawsi, in Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area of Abia State has recorded a breakthrough in the production of biogas, the Principal of the school, Rev. Sister Lilian Ifeoma Chibiko, has disclosed.
Rev. Sister Chibiko told The Oracle Today in her office that the school produces biogas by converting animal, human and kitchen wastes to gas that could be used in cooking and generating electricity.
“We have tried it here and we have seen that it works and the next level is how we can transfer this produced gas to cylinders. That is the level we are trying to research more,” the Principal said.
According to her, since the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, has achieved a similar feat, her school would go on excursion to Nsukka and tap from their experience.
She said constant research on solar energy was responsible for the biogas breakthrough, adding “on daily basis, we are into solar, researching more and more, to see how we can make it cheaper to our people.”
She said constant research on solar energy was responsible for the biogas breakthrough, adding that the school was being powered by solar energy built in the school.
Rev. Sister Chiko, a renewable energy and climate change activist who became the Principal of Mercy Girls High last January revealed that the school depends on the solar system she built in the school for all its energy needs.
“The dormitory, the refectory, computer laboratory, the Principal’s office, the Security post and the nearby convent are all connected to the solar system in the school,” she said.
The Principal who is a member of the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Mercy (DMMM) congregation of the Catholic Church, owners of the secondary school, said she has trained teachers and the 53 students in the school and their parents in the skills of solar production, installation and maintenance.
“Since I became the Principal, my teachers have been trained in this solar energy and some of them do go these days for installation and make some earnings. Also, my students have been trained in production and installation of solar energy,” Rev. Sister Chibiko said.
“This solar has reduced the use of generator in this school. With the solar, I tell you sincerely that since this term, I have only bought fuel worth of N2000 which we use only in pumping water and fuelling the mower machine.
“Nobody has ever complained because the students are very happy and it has contributed a lot in reducing pollutions and emission of carbon in the environment,” she said.
According to her, about 90 per cent of raw materials needed for solar panel production are locally generated.
She said the school lacked the resources to buy the laminating machine which would make their products compete favourably with imported ones and appealed for government assistance in that regard.
She declared that she was ready to teach Nigerian youths the skills of solar production, a skill she acquired while working as Missionary in Finland and Uganda, stressing that her mission was to impart this knowledge to the youths as a way of making them to be self-reliant and shun migrating abroad where she said they are subject dehumanizing conditions.
She also said that using solar energy would eradicate environmental pollution resulting from emissions from generating sets and called on the government to champion a switch over to solar energy and design a well-structured skills acquisition centres nationwide where the youth would be taught survival skills.
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