The renewable energy for climate change mitigation project aimed at improving the livelihoods of rural households in the north-east of the country was officially launched at Muyako in Katima Rural Constituency of Zambezi Region on Tuesday.
The two-year project, which started last year in March and will run until next February, is being funded by the Namibia Red Cross Society (NRCS) in partnership with the Spanish Red Cross, and the European Union (EU) plans to enhance the use of renewable forms of energy and energy efficient technologies in 10 selected rural communities in the Zambezi and the two Kavango regions.
During this period the project aims to construct 200 energy-saving cooking stoves, distribute 200 solar lamps to 200 families, and install energy-efficient irrigation water pumps for irrigation.
Speaking at the regional launch at Muyako where a solar energy irrigation water pump was recently installed, EU representative Achim Schaffert said this project will go a long way to improve the livelihoods of the selected beneficiary rural communities.
“In view of its own history and experience, the European Union is convinced that pioneering ventures that provide access to appropriate sustainable energy technologies stimulate local investment including job creation, and improves the quality of education, thus contributing to poverty reduction,” said Schaffert.
The EU wants to support government to reduce the vulnerability of the rural population to the adverse impact of climate change through developing, testing and disseminating solutions and practices.
Project chairperson in Zambezi Region Innocent Mahoto said they would work very hard to ensure that community members are educated and trained on the advantages of using renewable energy.
“We believe that information is power, so we are going to work with communities to ensure that they have relevant information on climate change to enable them to make informed decisions,” said Mahoto.
Speaking at the same occasion Zambezi Governor Lawrence Sampofu called on community members to improve their livelihood and to reduce poverty.
“Let us not sit in our homesteads doing nothing, waiting for government – that the government will bring food, will bring water … we have hands, let’s work. We have brains, let’s think for ourselves, for a better living condition,” advised Sampofu.