African solar power solution providers back irrigation, water and sanitation projects

SOMALIA – Aptech Africa, a solar and water pumping solutions provider in Africa, has commissioned a solar powered reverse osmosis water treatment plant in Caynabo, Somaliland.

The project funded by UNDP, uses a reverse osmosis system supplied by Genius Water powered with a photovoltaic power supply with the capacity of 41.08kWp.

According to reports by Africa Business Communities, the site for the project was selected because of its nearness to the well and proximity to the beneficiary communities.

Before the system was installed, the Ministry of Water Project Coordinator, Mr. Abdullahi Mohammed, reported that hygiene and sanitation in the area was poor and even some people suffered from kidney stones as a result of not taking enough water.

“It was very expensive to buy drinking water for the whole family with bottled water costing US$0.45 per liter.

“This made most residents to resort to drinking the well water that has a high saline level and is not safe for drinking,” said Abdullahi

The new facility has the capability of serving the total population of Caynabo with about 7000 people, as well as around 3000 people from neighbouring villages.

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Zonful in US$5m solar powered irrigation infrastructure

In other related news, Zimbabwe based off-grid solar energy provider, Zonful Energy Technologies is planning to invest US$5m in solar powered irrigation infrastructure in the next five years in a bid to improve productivity of rural small-scale farmers across the country.

This will be facilitated through its recently launched Hurudza/Umlimi scheme, a pay-as-you-go solar irrigation solution.

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“Having realised that rain-fed agriculture is no longer reliable and climate change is now with us, we are investing US$1m each year for the next five years to ensure farmers can continue to produce using our solar powered irrigation technology,” said Zonful founder and chief executive officer William Ponela.

More than 200,000 rural off-grid small scale farmers across Zimbabwe are set to benefit from Zonful’s Hurudza/Umlimi solar irrigation system.

The customised pay-as you-go plan allows farmers to pay for their solar out of the increased profits from additional harvests.

It also comes with insurance cover in the event of unexpected crop loss and a smartphone with the scheme’s app.

Agriculture is the backbone of Zimbabwe’s economy, employing 70% of the population but with climate change affecting rainfall patterns production continues to go down.

A number of local companies and nongovernmental organisations have come up with solar-powered irrigation systems which are helping farmers to grow a wide range of crops.

In Gwanda, solar-powered irrigation was brought into the area by Practical Action, a British charity.

It installed solar stations in 33 communal gardens of about 20,000 square metres (two hectares) each, under the Resilience Enhanced through Agricultural Productivity (REAP) project.

It also installed seven drip-irrigation systems covering about 200,000 square metres (20 hectares) each.

REAP, which began in 2017 and will continue until May 2022, is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency.

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