Solar panels on Crab Island
Crab Island is one of the nine districts of Banjul, capital city of The Gambia. The Crab Island Upper Basic School was established in 1957 under British colonial rule and could accommodate schoolchildren aged between 13 and 16. It became one of the best-known schools in the country, but was closed in 2012 because of the poor state of the buildings. The pupils were accommodated in the Garba Jahumpa school run by Banjul City Council (BCC).
In 2020, the Ostend-Banjul city link started implementing a European project grant in Banjul that will also be used to tackle the former school buildings of Crab Island. The school is set to be transformed into a multifunctional site with room for a radio station, a music recording studio, a multifunctional concert hall, a multimedia lab and allotments. Environmentally-friendly bricks made of compressed clay dried by the sun will be used for the new part to be built. The former classrooms will be available for civil-society organisations and innovative initiatives with a social purpose.
Renewable energy in the form of 60 kWp of solar panels and 60 kWh of lithium batteries that will power the site day and night is being installed on the site. Electricity grid power outages are still common in The Gambia. Although the potential for solar energy in The Gambia is huge, it is still little used. The use of renewable energy on the site could be an inspiring example for both the public and private construction sectors.