Virginia is a third-year European Studies student at the University of Amsterdam who has just finished her virtual internship with the help and coordination of Foundation for Sustainable Community Based Development. (FSD). Virginia has a passion for the environment particularly using renewable energy for creating a lasting positive change within the world.
It was from such a passion that Virginia ventured into a project that considered how the use sustainable renewable energy to serve the needs of the rural community in Isukwe Village. She worked with Access to Solar Technologies (AST) as the host organization under the supervision of Mr. Joseph Wanume.
Virginia carried out a community assessment meeting so as to find out the challenges that the community was facing. During the community assessment, Virginia found out the community was experiencing poverty challenges as result of poor farm yields which generate less or no incomes to support their families. The main reason is the unfavorable climate change characterized by long dry season that affects communities’ planting and harvesting farming activities. This prompted a project idea of developing better techniques for water irrigation in farming through the use of a solar water pump and water tank. The essence of the project was to boost farmers yields from the gardens in dry seasons through irrigation.
The community considered this as priority because the largest group relies on farming sector as their main source of income generation. Initiating the use of a solar water pump would allow the farmers to generate water from nearby water sources and store it in water tanks. The stored water would be used for their subsistence and commercial agricultural activities along with domestic work.
A group of 8 farming families was selected for the project pilot. They agreed to share the first mobile water pump and panel. They also agreed to share the natural water sources on each other’s farmlands to pump and store up to 22000 liters a day. This capacity of water is able to irrigate their crops through out the day and assist in other domestic work activities. Improved water irrigation will enable better fertilization and crop output. The Access to Solar team provided training to the community members about how to operate the pump and also promised to provide maintenance for the water pump.
The community also developed and organized management structure to ensure proper usage and maintenance of the water pump. Their goal is to increase on their agriculture out put and sell their products so that they can get more money and invest to buy more solar water pumps.
Virginia Solar Water Pump project images