Micro hydroelectric power plant development in the west region of Cameroon
AbstractThe objective of the present work is to characterise the state of ten Micro Hydroelectric Power Plants (MHPPs) installed in the west region of Cameroon, in preparation for their modernization. The work was carried out between January 2006 and December 2008. Each site was visited at least once a month. During these visits, data related to the background and to the development structures of the MHPPs were collected by the use of questionnaires, direct interviews, site observations and measurements. The main results show that there are ten MHPPs in the west region
of Cameroon. The first one was built in the town of Dschang in1944. Since the installation of the pilot MHPP in Bamougoum village in 1997 with the involvement of local craftsmen, the average increase speed is one MHPP per year. Also 60% of MHPPs are funded locally and 80% managed by development committees and individuals. On 100% of sites, annual mean discharges vary from 1.10 to 0.30 m3. On 80 % of MHPPs gross heads are between 32 and 2 m. Civil engineering structures are built by local craftsmen using as much maximum local materials as possible. This is to minimize costs but they do not master very well the MHPP technology. This is often a source of malfunction. Thus funding of local craftsman training by the government or other agency can render that technology sustainable in the west region of Cameroon.