12 April 2018

Namibia: Renewable Energy Initiative Launched in Zambezi

A project on renewable energy use for climate change mitigation was launched at Muyako village in the Zambezi region's Katima rural constituency by the Namibia Red Cross Society on Tuesday.

Zambezi Red Cross board chairperson, Innocent Mahoto said the project aims to promote the use of various forms of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies in 10 selected rural communities of the Zambezi, Kavango East and Kavango West regions.

Mahoto said it will contribute to the mitigation of the negative impacts of climate change within vulnerable rural communities in Namibia.

"Selected small-scale farmers of which most are in off-grid electricity areas will benefit from the installation of renewable energy in community gardens that will facilitate a responsible and environmentally friendly use of resources," he said.

The project, which started in March 2017 and ends February 2019, aims to raise awareness on renewable energy and energy efficient technologies, and the setting up of solar pumping systems in the agricultural production.

In collaboration with some experts and the communities themselves, a new efficient stove model will be introduced to beneficiaries to avoid deforestation, while also improving health conditions at household level.

Benefits of solar lighting will minimise the side effects caused by the use of candles and/or traditional ways of lighting at household level.

Namibia has been reported to be highly vulnerable to impacts of climate change due to its geographic location, its variable weather patterns and a number of socio-economic factors.

Currently, Namibia is not able to generate sufficient electricity to meet its needs and as a result is importing nearly 60% of its electricity from neighbouring countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana, much of which is generated from fossil fuels.

The government has prioritised climate mitigation actions, especially the generation of clean and renewable energy in order to both reduce energy dependency on its neighbours and to address climate change.

The Namibia Red Cross Society in partnership with the Spanish Red Cross were awarded the initiative by the European Union. Among those in attendance at the launch were European Union head of cooperation to Namibia, Achim Schaffert and Zambezi governor Lawrence Sampofu.

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