Tanzania News – 6 August 2010 – Wind measurements in very remote area

In close cooperation with the Tanzanian NGO ‘Better Life Tanzania’, wind measurements are started in the very remote Serengeti area. By very remote, I mean: one full day drive on tarred road, overnight stay in a hotel and another full day drive on dirt-road/piste. Everything was planned and prepared very well. Everything…, but one thing we forgot to do: to test the wind meter before packing it…

When we finally arrived at the village, I tested the meter in my hand and noticed that it was not spinning so freely as I remember from previous occasions. Then we tested the meter on the roof of a local hut. It was only starting to spin in very high wind, and by then I realized we had a serious (mechanical) problem with this meter. How to solve this in the middle of nowhere? We had no electricity, but one of our mobile phones was working half of the time. So we decided to try to get another meter at the measurement site.


What follows is a story which proofs that Africans can arrange some things more rapidly than possible in Europe or other western countries. Everything was arranged by mobile phone. First our colleague in Dar went to our office to pick up a new meter. He went to the airport, where a friend of the NGO was waiting. They took the meter and handed it over to a pilot of Precision Air. This pilot flew it to Mwanza. At that airport another friend was waiting. He received the package and continued by bus. After some hours he had to spend the night in Musoma. Next morning he took the first bus to the Serengeti. We drove to a junction where this bus is passing. And the last man was actually on this bus and handed over the wind meter to us. Everything within 24 hours. Many thanks to everybody who contributed to this quick transport!


In the mean time we had put up a pole of 12 meters. After receiving the meter, we could install it easily. Even a small breeze is enough to rotate the cups of this new wind meter. Let’s hope the wind meter is not only receiving small breezes in the next months that it is going to measure the winds of the Serengeti.