Forty-seven participants from two directorates, namely the Directorate of Water Supply & Sanitation Coordination (DWSSC) and the Directorate of Agricultural Production, Extension, and Engineering Services (DAPEES) attended the training.
The GIZ Green People’s Energy (GPE) project recently conducted a five-day training session for technicians and engineers from the Ministry of Agriculture Water and Land Reform (MAWLR) on the design, installation and maintenance of solar pumping systems.
Forty-seven participants from two directorates, namely the Directorate of Water Supply & Sanitation Coordination (DWSSC) and the Directorate of Agricultural Production, Extension, and Engineering Services (DAPEES) attended the training. The participants were divided into two groups whereby the first group consisted of 18 participants and the second group had 29 participants. The training took place at Ngato VTC in Rundu from 5-9 June for the first group and from 12-16 June for the second group.
The training was conducted by Voltman Education and Training, with the assistance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) trainers from Rundu and Ngato VTCs.
The GPE project aims to train personnel in the decentralised renewable energy field to ensure the improvement of their skillset.
The MAWLR training was necessitated by the fact that the Ministry is moving away from diesel engine water pumping systems to solar-powered systems. It is therefore necessary to capacitate the relevant staff with the right skills to design, install and maintain the solar water pumping systems.
The training covered the following aspects:
- Solar panel configurations
- Introduction to fluid mechanics and drinking water pumping
- Solar panel installation and connection
- Pump installation
- Water client needs (water demand, utilisation and metering)
- Scheduled and unscheduled maintenance
- Solar panel system design
- Water pump pipe specifications.
Some of the participants who attended the training were delighted that they had been equipped with new, vital knowledge of solar technologies which they will be applying in their daily activities.
Erich Tsaeb, a senior artisan foreman from the Otjozondjupa Region DWSSC said: “We have been informed about the new innovations and systems, but training such as this gives a person hope and a clear mindset of how the system was developed to cater to the needs of our rural communities in cost-effective ways. Looking at the depth of the training, one would understand that a solar-driven pump is compatible in every situation being at home, for farming or water supply”.
Patience Sepiso Saushini, a chief engineer at DAPEES, in the Khomas region, acknowledged the importance of the reskilling saying: “The training was comprehensive, and well-structured, covering all aspects of solar pumping system design, installation, and maintenance. The hands-on training sessions were particularly helpful in enhancing our practical skills. We are confident that Green Schemes will benefit invaluably from this training, and we welcome more of this training in the future. We would like to thank GIZ-GPE and the facilitators of this training workshop as our team has acquired knowledge and skills that are relevant to daily work.”
The Chief Learning and Development Officer at MAWLR, Cavin Mwinga, applauded GIZ-GPE for supporting the ministry by funding the training of technicians in solar pumping systems. He said the knowledge and skills that the participants gained from the training will go a long way in ensuring efficient and effective service delivery in installation, maintenance and repair of solar-driven water infrastructures for the benefit of rural communities in all regions.