Improving Livelihoods Through Adoption of Renewable Energy for Productive Use

The SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE) is implementing a European Union-funded project aimed at the ‘Improvement of Livelihoods in SADC Member States through the Adoption of Distributed Renewable Energy for Productive Use’.

The project is being implemented as a pilot over 24 months and it covers Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Namibia and Zambia. It falls under the Intra-African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) Programme through the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) nexus. The GCCA+ Programme is funded by the European Union through the SADC Secretariat.

In Namibia the project has been implemented in the Lubuta community, in the Zambezi Region, to the tune of US$90 000 (about N$1, 7 million). The project covers the following:

  • Installation of a 2, 2 kW solar Photovoltaic (PV) system for irrigation.
  • A drip irrigation system for 2 hectares.
  • Planting of various horticultural crops including maize, onions and cabbage.
  • Training of farmers on Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) technologies including the drip irrigation by the Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA).
  • Installation of a shade net covering 21m x 30m.
  • Drilling of a borehole to supply water for irrigation and domestic purposes.
  • Installation of three water reservoir tanks with the capacity of 30,000 litres.
  • Installation of two water collection points for the community.
  • Construction of a poultry house for poultry farming.
  • Installation of a diamond mesh fence to secure the project perimeter.

SACREEE handed over the project to the Lubuta community in October 2023, witnessed by the Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Kornelia Shilunga, and the Governor of the Zambezi Region, Lawrence Sampofu.

In December, 2023, the EU Heads of Missions, led by EU Ambassador to Namibia, Ana Beatriz Martins, visited several projects located in the Zambezi region, including the Lubuta community project.

The Lubuta community project has created some co-benefits which include:     

  • Improved livelihoods and food security for the communities.
  • Introduction and promotion of the CSA farming technologies.
  • Ability for the community beneficiaries to produce various crops for income generation.
  • Household food security.
  • Local job creation and potential to create more jobs and linkages with different areas including poultry farming.
  • Contribution to the social welfare and health of the rural communities by providing portable water for domestic purposes which was previously a challenge in the area.
  • Availing the project facility as a demonstration site for WEF Nexus approach within the Zambezi region and Namibia at large thereby serving as contributing to knowledge sharing and model for scaling up and replication.

Deputy Minister Shilunga said she was happy to learn that 100 households will directly benefit from the project, with another 300 households from the surrounding community benefiting indirectly. 

“It is of paramount importance that the community takes care of the generous donation they have received, and they should also maximise utilisation in order to enhance their living conditions,” she said.

SACREEE Executive Director Kuda Ndhlukula said the Lubuta project was a pilot, which other countries in the region would want to emulate.

Local councillor Humphrey Gwelu Divai said the community of Lubuta was grateful to have been chosen in SADC to be the recipients of this project.  “We are grateful to be the recipients of this renewable energy project. The purpose of government providing services to people is so that we get out of our comfort zones, and work hard to fight all forms of poverty amongst our own communities, as well as build the economy,” he said.

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