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« Manentena will do water with sun »


In Balma, on the premises of La Grainerie, the launching convention for the Manentena endowment fund, headquartered in Gramont, has just been held. The purpose of this structure is to use the sun to bring drinking water and electricity to disadvantaged populations. In fact, the solution proposed by this endowment fund is based on advanced technology, which equips its first two « solar trees » soon « planted » in Vohipeno and Morarano, two villages in Madagascar.

Called Altes, these artificial trees cosist of solar panels grouped around a trunk in which nest batteries and equipment that, in addition to providing electricity, produce up to 40 liters of pure water per day.

The principle is simple: the energy produced by the photovoltaic panels is used to cool a surface subjected to a flow of air, generating a condensation phenomenon able to provide water. Autonomous and immediately operational, Altes adapts particularly well to the needs of isolated Malagasy populations.

« Our intention: to make water with the sun », summarizes Gilles Garcia, president of Manentena, whose two founders are Bertrand Manier and Stéphane Gilli. The first one is managing the company Solstice, based in Gramont, which raises and returns funds to finance the implementation of solar power systems. From his part, Stéphane Gilli is the head of Cap Sud, an establishment specializing in photovoltaic. « Solstice knows how to raise funds and Cap Sud has the technological skills. It is from there that we came to the idea of Altes, « says Gilles Garcia.

He explains: « To launch Manentena, the two companies carried 7500 €each. Solstice will then return 0.1% of the funds it collects as a part of its activities. This represents around € 20,000 per year. South Cape will donate 1 € per kilowatt it produces, which also represents nearly 20 000 €. Manentena will also collect donations from private donators.

Information: 05 31 96 16 09. www.manentena-foundation.org

The number : 3,6

Every year 3.6 million people die from diseases related to poor water quality. In addition, two thirds of the world’s population is experiencing water shortages. In addition, 17% of the world’s population does not have access to electricity.

Patrick Ramonjavelo : « Positive Economic And Social Impact »

In order to precisely meet the needs of the inhabitants of the two villages, Vohipeno and Morarano, soon equipped with Altes trees, Bertrand Manier, Stéphane Gilli and Gilles Garcia have moved closer to Patrick Ramonjavelo. He is native of Vohipeno, Patrick Ramonjavelo is also in charge of Fivmpama, a group of Malagasy bosses. He defines himself as « facilitator of the Manentena project ». In fact, the Altes trees raise the interest of Patrick Ramonjavelo, who relies on this « source of light », so that the populations of the two villages, « so close in their motivation to develop », can « learn, understand and undertake ». He adds: « The positive spinoffs will be economically and socially in favor of the villagers and the prosperity of the villages. (…). Solar trees will bring economic and social benefits, provide energy, and provide shade. « 

Emmanuel Vaksmann


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