Community solar project for Mhondoro Ngezi

HARARE - Hundreds of households in Mhondoro Ngezi are set to benefit from a low cost solar system that was launched by government last week.

The solar product can be used to power lights, irons, refrigerators and solar pumps and is being rolled out by Angaza, Greenlight Planet, Kiva International and Zonful Energy with the assistance of government.

It comes as Zimbabwe is moving to conservative energy.

According to Zonful Energy, Zimbabwe has no less than eight million people that live off the electricity grid and depend on paraffin and firewood for lighting.

Those connected to the national power grid suffer erratic supplies.

“The project aims to establish solar energy as a source of power in most of our households which do not access electricity from the Zesa grid,” Zonful chief executive officer William Ponela said on Tuesday.

“It will go a long way on the conservation of our environment, in terms forest conservation and reduction of pollution from burning kerosene.”

Zimbabwe currently lies on one of best solar radiation belts in the world with 300 days of sunshine per year.

Mashonaland West State minister Faber Chidarikire said the project will power Mhondoro Ngezi with solar energy in the ongoing efforts to reduce carbon emissions in line with global best practices.

“The project is relevant to the country's national energy policy as it increases access to affordable energy services,” the governor said.

“The connection of communities to the solar products is part of efforts to stimulate economic activities in the rural communities.”

Mhondoro Ngezi Zanu PF MP Mike Gava said the rural solar project would help eradicate stock theft.

“Stock theft is one of the biggest problems we face in this constituency. Thieves strive in the dark. Hopefully, lighting up this constituency will reduce this problem,” Gava said.

Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority has since licensed over 15 independent power producers, but very few have implemented projects.

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