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Sierra Leonean entrepreneur to build the first ever electric shuttle minibus with spaces for persons with disability in clean energy push.

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Sierra Leonean entrepreneur James Samba has been working on collecting trash to build the first ever electric shuttle minibus with spaces for persons with disability that can accommodate them while in their wheelchairs.

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During an interview with Salone Messenger, a public relations firm, James Samba stated “The Bus I am working on can operate without fuel or oil, can self-recharge itself, it also carry up to 10 passengers”

Sierra Leonean entrepreneur James Samba to build the first ever electric shuttle minibus
Sierra Leonean entrepreneur James Samba to build the first ever electric shuttle minibus

Salone Messenger reported that James Samba has worked on several projects including an FM radio transmitter, auto-intensity street light, non-fuel generator, remote control wheelchair, automated handwashing station, sanitizer dispenser, solar backpack, and has solved many problems in the communities ranging from light security, electricity, climate change, coronavirus prevention, to name but a few.

James Samba

James Samba is now going a step further to build the first ever electric shuttle minibus with spaces for persons with disability that can accommodate them while in their wheelchairs from scratch in a push to promote clean energy, curb pollution, address and create a better option to the high prices of gasoline that are relatively reflecting on high transportation costs, as well as the neglect of the physically challenged in wheelchairs in the public transportation sector.

Africa’s top producer and exporter of crude oil have heavily-subsidized gasoline and a patchy supply of electricity — a combination that might discourage anyone from investing in electric vehicles.

But James Samba, a 20-year-old student, self-taught Engineer, chief Innovation Officer, and founder of Wanjama Innovative-s. and resident of Pujehun Town, in the southern provinces of Sierra Leone is undaunted. He says rising global oil prices and pollution make electric vehicles a worthwhile alternative in Sierra Leone.

At a friend’s workshop, he has already stripped combustion engines from 10 mini-buses, powering them with solar batteries. The buses, which have been operating for just over a month, cover a distance of 100 km on a single charge, he said.

Like many innovators, James encountered numerous challenges trying to solve problems, speaking to Salone Messenger, he said

‘’The issue of funding has been the key challenge I’ve been facing lately. Getting materials to work with on a particular project is hard and many are to be purchased locally and sometimes ordered. 90% of all my innovative solutions are self-funded; I have to squeeze from my school allowance and sometimes even beg from friends and other relatives to assist me with some cash to buy the materials needed. ‘’Despite these challenges, James is hoping that his innovative ideas will make difference in the lives of people, he sees himself solving modern-day problems through his technology. This to James is his greatest achievement ‘’ My greatest achievement in the line of my work, innovation, has been, creating solutions to problems affecting people or more precisely, me being a problem-solver. With extreme gratitude to the UNDP Accelerator Lab, I have been able to learn more on my pace of becoming a real-time problem-solver through their funded training program on Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Limkokwing University. He noted.

His most ambitious project is building the buses from scratch.

In Sierra Leone, like most of Africa, electric vehicles have not yet gained traction because they are more expensive and there is little electricity and no infrastructure to charge vehicles.

Due to the electricity challenge, James Samba noted that the bus operates without fuel or oil, can self-recharge itself, and can carry up to 10 passengers, among other functions.

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Sallu Kamuskay

Sallu Kamuskay is a Sierra Leonean activist, storyteller, and blogger. He was born in Sierra Leone but later relocated to Guinea as a refugee because of the war in his country. Sallu Kamuskay uses his phone to engage on social media, under the name ‘’Salone Messenger’. He Co-Founded the Salone Messenger platform after his experience of the war, Ebola, and injustices. According to him, silence was the root cause of war, and of many social injustices, we continue to face as a nation. In 2013, during the Ebola crisis, Sallu Kamuskay took the risk and volunteered to fight Ebola. He spent some months in both safe and unsafe places; helping the victims and telling their sad stories. The election in 2018, left a divided country with communities fighting on tribal lines. This inspired Sallu Kamuskay to serve as the coordinator of the United Sierra Leone peace concert, which was organized in 4 major parts of the country, targeting violent communities and troubled youth. Sallu Kamuskay led a group of entertainers, activists, and organizations across the country on a peace tour, a program supported by the European Union, United Sierra Leone, Africa Union, ECOWAS, and the Messeh Leone Trust. Sallu Kamuakay has also served as a staff writer for the Hidden Voices Magazine. Over the years, Sallu Kamuskay has been using his Techno phone to be able to tell stories, the phone he used to tell the story of Gbessay during Ebola who was admitted at one of the Ebola treatment centers after rumors that she had Ebola when the actual sickness was ulcer, she was almost abandoned at the treatment canter with no medication provided to her. She could have died. Sallu told the story via social media and was able to secure funding from the United Sierra Leone to buy her medication and advocated for her. She was later discharged and taken home, He did the same to a patient that died and was abandoned in the street, Sallu Kamuskay used his phone and shared the message across, the corps was later taken and buried. It could have been more disaster without his voice. The story of late America Stress 3-year-old daughter. The hero’s daughter was abandon after his father's death. He shared her sad story and was able to get a sister who has taken the child as her own and is currently providing her with educational support. The article of America Stress can be read on the link below http://ayvnewspaper.com/index.php/k2-categories/item/7350-america-stress-a-hero-to-recognize. Sallu Kamuskay feels the stories of Gbessay, America stress and that of many others need to be told. The media house we have cannot better tell these stories, they are better reporters than telling human interest stories. He created the Salone Messenger platform and brought together passionate storytellers to be able to tell these compelling stories.

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