We’re pleased to announce that our project to bring hydropower to Kavalamanja is complete! Thanks to Kiwi donations, the people of Kavalamanja in the Luangwa district in Zambia, now have access to renewable energy to help grow their crops.
Last year, Zambia faced the biggest water shortage in over a decade. With a drought, not only is there no water but sources of food become unreliable. With thousands of people facing starvation, we needed a long-term plan to create change.
A little bit of background
Together with ChildFund Zambia and Luangwa Child Development Agency (LCDA), we worked with communities in Kavalamanja, in Zambia, to find a way to improve access to water and to prepare them for droughts in the future.
So here’s the background. A previous project in Kavalamanja involved erecting a solar-powered electric fence (supported by New Zealand donors and Gallagher New Zealand) in order to protect the communities’ crops from being eaten and trampled by elephants, and destroyed by other wild animals.
However even though the Zambezi River runs through Kavalamanja, the crop fields are situated some kilometres away where there is no easy access to water. Partly, this is because this is where the most productive land is.
Also, crops need to be far enough away from the river so they are not destroyed by floods. Unfortunately, this part of Zambia is also frequently affected by drought. To add to this, Kavalamanja isn’t connected to the National Grid, which means there are no taps or pumps to irrigate the communities’ crops.
So, the area was available to grow crops but without water it was difficult to make use of it. We knew the problem – what was the solution?
Renewable energy sources
We worked with innovators in sustainable renewable energy, Smart Hydro Power, to design and construct a system that can pump water from the Zambezi river into the solar-fenced farmland. The result was the creation of two turbines that can be lowered into the water. As the blades spin they generate hydropower.
This power is then used to pump water out of the Zambezi and into the fenced farmland. What’s more, there is enough power left over to power a fridge at the health centre, and lights and computers at the Kavalamanja School. Another added bonus was that a water purification system was attached to the piped water and children can now access clean and safe drinking water at their health centre.
Building the turbines
We’re so pleased to announce that thanks to Kiwi donations, the turbines have been built and are in use.
This project will ensure families in Luangwa no longer have to worry about where their next meal will come from. Thank you!