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Quthing embraces renewable energy

Limpho Sello

THE incessant load shedding currently being experienced in Quthing and other surrounding areas could soon be a thing of the past with the full implementation of the Sustainable Energy for All (S4ALL) project.

Dubbed the ‘Development of Cornerstone Public Policies and Institutional Capacities to accelerate Sustainable Energy for All Progress’, the project is being implemented by the Ministry of Energy and Meteorology in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The project started in 2015 and implantation is expected to be completed next year. The project is aimed catalysing investment in renewable energy-based mini-grids and energy centres, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the attainment of Lesotho’s Vision 2020 and SE4All goals.

The SE4All project team recently held roadshows in Mohale’s Hoek and Quthing to raise awareness about affordable, clean energy technologies that are available and can provide basic energy for communities.

Quthing resident ‘Mateboho Mokole said the renewable energy products would come in handy for the rest of the district which is reeling from electricity load shedding.

Ms Mokole also won a solar light and an Ace cook stove. She said the solar light would assist her children to study at night.

“We stay in a dark location in Quthing although we are connected to the grid. So I’m happy that these products will turn around our lives,” Ms Mokole said.

Taxi driver, Mahlehle Mokoma, said after listening to a presentation at one of the roadshows, he was convinced that life could be easier and more affordable the with the renewable energy products especially in winter.

“Getting myself a stove will save me money that I used to spend on gas in winter. Besides, the stove uses less wood than a normal fire. This means that we will also save our environment from soil erosion,” Mr Mokoma said.

UNDP SE4ALL project manager, ‘Mabohlokoa Tau, said the project was five-year programme to enable the business community to partner with the government to invest in renewable energy-based mini-grids and energy centres to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Ms Tau said the project is focusing on five districts namely, Mohale’s Hoek, Mokhotlong, Thaba-Tseka, Qacha’s Nek and Quthing. She said the project would concentrate on off-grid areas.

“These are the areas that the Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC) will not be able to cover in the next ten years because of high costs.

“Throughout the five-year period, we hope to provide 1000 rural households with clean energy and create 900 job opportunities for the business community,” Ms Tau said.

She said they would also provide the products at a subsidized cost to different business people through a US$1, 2 million (M31 215 450) fund supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

 

 

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