Mrs. Muyonjo is a housewife in a remote village of Ivukula in Iganga district, Eastern Uganda. She used to ride her bicycle for twenty miles in order to come to the nearest small town with electricity to charge her mobile phone battery. Not any more.
One day, she fell victim to unscrupulous individuals. “I will never give my telephone to the village battery chargers again. I gave them my new phone for charging, and they changed my battery and instead returned to me an old battery whose battery life can only last for one day.” Unable to find the money or time to charge the battery daily, she decided to find an alternative charging solution. “I looked at what was readily available to me and came up with my own charger. I devised this method to enable me charge my battery every day. It works perfectly.”
In Uganda, as in many other countries, cell phone use has become huge. Access to charging technologies, however is not so huge.
The solution Mrs. Muyonjo came up with was pretty good for a first iteration. Long term, she and her neighbors would probably be happier with a device that has a voltage regulator, ability to sense a complete charge, and of course, a renewable energy source. Could such a device be made from electrojunk? Make: Online readers, what can we come up with? Bring out your ideas for charging circuits, working and theoretical and let us know in the comments and MAKE Flickr pool.