Kafue, Friday (April 26, 2024)

Africa Access Water (AfAW) and Tevel from Israel has established solar powered water systems in Mpande Hills area in Kafue District to mitigate drought emanating from the effects of climate change.

AfAW Chief Executive Director Rodney Katongo has since paid tribute to Segal Family Foundation for supporting his organization with institutional capacity strengthening, Tevel of Israel and Jewish Community for funding the project of setting up the infrastructure and operational costs.

Mr. Katongo said the water systems have a significant impact on the communities by providing clean drinking water, improving agricultural irrigation systems, and supporting community wealth creation.

Mr. Katongo said the project aligns with AfAW’s vision of developing African communities through solar-powered water and its mission to deliver these systems for productive use, food security, socio-economic development, and wealth creation.

“AfAW was established in 2019, so we are five years old. Our vision is that the African community should be developed through solar powered water systems. What we do is to equip rural communities with solar powered water infrastructure for productive use. Ultimately, this leads to increased agricultural activity and community productivity. The result is that we will have increased crop output to enhance food security and income at household level. Majority of those in the water sector focus on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) but for us our focus is water for productive use such as irrigation or growing crops,” he said.

The Development Sector Leader said more than 75% of the population in Zambia depends on rainfed agriculture and are only productive for four months in a year during the rainy season.

“We thought that if we are able to provide solar powered water system then peasant farmers would be able to produce throughout the year. There will be productivity, food security and increased income which helps stimulate rural economies. This is especially during this time when there is drought and the call by His Excellency, the President Mr. Hakainde Hichilema for concerted efforts that will drive and help communities to be equipped with solar powered water systems. In Mpande Community, Kafue District, we have put up solar powered water in order to respond to challenges of climate change and drought,” he said.

Meanwhile, Segal Family Foundation Strategy Manager Patricia Milila said her organization is a partner of AfAW adding that it believes in investing in locally led organizations and solutions that are creating impact in communities.

“We are excited to learn more about the work of AfAW because this is our first year of partnership and we are here to see work in action,” he said.

And Tevel Programmes Coordinator, Twaambo Kapalangwe, said her organization focuses on sustainable agriculture, youths and women empowerment.

“We are working in collaboration with our partners, AfAW. We have a model within our project that includes the Youth Service Programme which we have here in Mpande in Kafue District. The model is focused on tapping into the community using the next generation in order to pass on information from the current generation to the next generation,” she said.

Ms Kapalangwe said Tevel is taking development to the community using youths that are young, energetic and learn quickly.

“The Youth Service Programme is for two years. It consists of youths from three villages in Mpande area namely; Chilimamume,  Nanduba and Shamanjanji. The youths that are in this Programme are ranging from the ages of 18 to 28,” she said.

The Tevel Programmes Coordinator said the main purpose is to empower the community with a variety of skills in financial literacy, how to save money and later on be able to teach the community.

“There is a component where they are able to form Savings Groups and be in charge in order to generate income for them to move away from charcoal production which is rampant in the area. The idea is that the youths should pass on to the community the knowledge they gather from us to bring about social economic development. Apart from financial literacy, we have entrepreneurship, we also have other partners where we teach them. We are getting them ready to go into the community for community mobilization to form community clubs to pass on the agricultural knowledge acquired here such as the key hole gardens which the community has started learning to use as well. This can help the community to have a source of income to avoid getting involved in charcoal,” she said.

She said the youths are given a grant and a loan when they complete the Programme in order to equip them in their next stage of their lives.

This is contained in a statement issued by AfAW Communications Officer, Temwa Gondwe.

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