12 April 2018

Namibia: Rural Communities to Benefit From Renewable Energy

About 10 selected rural communities in the Kavango East, Kavango West and Zambezi regions will benefit from the Namibia Red Cross Society's renewable energy for climate change mitigation project that was officially launched on Tuesday.

The project is financially supported by the European Union (EU), in partnership with the Spanish Red Cross.

The beneficiaries are Mayana in Kavango East, Sikondo and Sharukwe in Kavango West and Mpacha, Lichaba, Walumba, Lisikili, Saili, Lyeebangwe and Muyako in the Zambezi region.

The Zambezi regional NRCS board chairperson, Innocent Mahoto, gave a brief background of the project during the launch at the Muyako village in Zambezi, and noted that the project will contribute to the mitigation of the negative impact of climate change within the vulnerable communities of Namibia.

"The project will facilitate the construction of 200 energy-saving cooking stoves, as you know climate change is real. We need to ensure that we reduce the cutting down of trees for firewood. It will also distribute solar lamps to 200 families, which will reduce paraffin usage and help reduce the effects of climate change, as well as indoor pollution," he said.

Mahoto further stated that they will also install energy-efficient irrigation water pumps, which will replace the diesel-powered boreholes, in order to promote the use of solar-powered boreholes.

"Capacity-building on renewable energy and energy-efficiency is important. So, we are going to work with the communities to ensure that they have relevant information on climate change to enable them to make informed decisions," he added.

The EU's head of delegation to Namibia, Achim Scaffert, said during the event that in the current cooperation framework ending in 2020, the EU has already committed 68 million euros to support various projects and programmes in the country.

"Our ambition in the Namibian context of this action is to support government's efforts to reduce the vulnerability of the rural population to adverse impacts of climate change through developing, testing and disseminating solutions and practices, implementing innovative technologies for climate change adaptation and mitigation in rural areas," he said.

Scaffert noted that the EU experience shows that resources and expertise should be made available to developmental actors, including civil society organisations in rural areas and grassroots' organisations who work with vulnerable groups and on issues related to poverty alleviation.

The EU is convinced that pioneering ventures which provide access to appropriate sustainable energy technologies stimulate local investment and job creation, improve the quality of education, and thus contribute to the reduction of poverty, he added.

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