Tag Archives: Sara Wattles Perry ’77 Lecture Series

A Boy, a Textbook, and his Drought-Stricken Country

Photo by Paul Schnaittacher
Photo by Paul Schnaittacher

Currently a senior at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, William Kamkwamba, the co-author of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope, took time between his final exams to speak at Williston Northampton as the fourth annual speaker in the Sara Wattles Perry ’77 lecture series.

Mr. Kamkwamba is a native of Malawi, a small African country bordered by Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, where electricity and running water are a luxury enjoyed by only two percent of the population. Mr. Kamkwamba’s family members make their living as farmers in a rural part of the country. As chronicled in The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, in 2001, a record drought led Mr. Kamkwamba to drop out of school and, using textbooks as his guide, build an electricity-generating windmill out of scrap metal.

Watch Mr. Kamkwamba’s TEDTalk about building the windmill.

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