By Pride Sakupwanya
The UK Government in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other partners launched the Climate Adaptation Water and Energy Programme (CAWEP) to help rural communities deal with adverse effects of climate change.
The three year programme will see an investment of £12 million in four districts namely Binga, Chivi, Chipinge and Insiza.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Chief Director for Environment, Climate and Met Services Prof P. Matondi, Environment ministry Permanent secretary Ambassador Raphael Faranisi said the Adaptation goals are in line with COP 27 summit that was held recently.
“The project came at an opportune time as the just ended 27th Conference of Parties (COP 27) decided on the Global Goal on Adaptation that will inform the first global stocktake to be undertaken in 2023, with an aim of improving resilience amongst the most vulnerable” said Ambassador Faranisi
He also took the opportunity to update the country on projects the ministry is currently doing for sustainable water supply
“We are also rehabilitating and constructing dams through out the provinces, the Tugwi Mukosi in Masvingo province but more importantly the Gwayi Shangani dam in Matebeland North that will supply water in Bulawayo for the first time probably in the first half of next year.
“What is significant about Bulawayo is it will receive four times Water supply that it will need that means through our intervention will do away with boreholes,” he said
He also stated the need of solar based energy production to support vulnerable communities
“We need to provide a package of solar energy for households and also for communities, we are going to launch a project of 60 kilowatts next year and the 60 kilowatts provides energy to about 30 house holds, and a business centre” He said
The project, Ambassador Faranisi said will go a long way in ensuring the strengthening of early warning systems, increasing access to water for production and household use, especially during droughts and floods and
improving access to clean and affordable energy to support economic activities.
He said the project is expected to to connect the four vulnerable communities to solar powered electricity for sustainability.
“When complete, CAWEP will have connected 12,500 people to electricity on a solar micro-grid in Hakwata (Chipinge), almost 150,000 people will access water in Mlibizi (Binga), Wanezi (Insiza) and Gororo (Chivi). 130 hectares of agriculture land will be put to productive use.” he said.