Air pollution is one of the major problems in Sierra Leone, as according to HARPIS-SL, the country is rated as the 17th most endangered country in terms of air pollution due to several causes including the use of charcoal and wood in most households as a source of fuel for cooking.
With the ingenuity of a 24 years old Sierra Leonean, Emmanuel Alieu Mansaray from Freetown, the country is fighting against air pollution. Emmanuel is a university student who built a solar-powered car made from scraps and trash.
The “Imagination Solar Car” was a result of Emmanuel’s knack to create technology to solve social problems in his community. He created the ‘Imagination solar car’ which is powered by sunlight to reduce the risk of contracting incommunicable and respiratory disease caused by inhaling harmful fumes emitted from cars.
The eco-friendly invention took Emmanuel three years to build which does not use any fossil fuel to power it. The body of the car is built with bamboo, and has a large solar panel at the top of it that powers the engine and also serves as its canopy.
It has a self-made engine with three gears attached to it for both front and back movement. The car operates by converting sunlight into electrical energy using photovoltaic cells. He used the country’s signature colors, green, white, and blue.
The solar powered car can reach a speed of 9 miles per hour (15 km per hour), which costs him $500. Emmanuel now drives the car around in his hometown.
As a student of the Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, studying Geology, in 2018, Emmanuel began to develop his innovation skills after he built the first locally made solar-powered tricycle in Sierra Leone.
Emmanuel hopes to come up with more awesome inventions that would serve as solutions to pressing issues affecting the environment and his country although lack of funds, raw materials, sponsorship, and mentorship are his challenges.
His focus is to address number 7 goal of the UN Sustainable Development Goals which talks about clean energy.