Author: Martha Munyoro Katsi

Sustainable Energy for Rural Communities

Zimbabwe lies in one of the best solar radiation belts in the world, averaging at 2 100 Kwh/mĀ²/ per year and 3 000 sunshine hours/year(equivalent to 300 days of sunshine per year) but the country has not fully capitalised on this opportunity for socio-economic transformation. Many citizens struggle economically, socially and technologically because they do not have access to energy and the services it enables. However, with funding from the European Union, Practical Action and partners through the SE4RC project are changing this by connecting irrigation schemes, business centres, a school and a clinic to a solar mini grid...

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Harnessing Solar Power to Tackle Energy Poverty in Rural Zimbabwe and Malawi

Mashaba solar plant in Gwanda In most parts of Africa, irrigation agriculture is performed with the use of fossil fuels or labour intensive technologies. In Zimbabwe, in Gwanda district, Matabeleland South province, farmers are using diesel powered combustion engines to drive pumps, whilst in Malawi, in Nsanje and Chikwawa districts, the Southern Region of Malawi farmers are using treadle pumps to irrigate their farms. The use of diesel is very expensive and also pollutes the environment and the air, whilst treadle pumps are laborious and need a lot of energy to operate, the total irrigated area is small due...

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Solar brings joy to Gwanda District

Mabasa solar plant in Gwanda Gwanda District is one of the driest areas in Zimbabwe. The district is in farming natural region 5 of the country and receives very little rainfall. As such the people in Gwanda have always been hit by severe droughts and hunger. The 2015/16 agricultural season was bad for the farmers as most parts of the country received very low rainfall. Things are beginning to change for smallholder farmers who have always struggled to survive in the harsh environment. Despite low rainfall in the areas,villagersĀ  in various wards in Gwanda are now smiling all the...

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