By Inside Biz
The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) has provided a long-term solution to water scarcity for 174 households by constructing three solar-powered boreholes worth E1.2 million.
NDMA Communications Manager Wandile Mavuso said the construction of the solar-powered boreholes would benefit over 1 200 residents under the Mayiwane Constituency.
Mavuso mentioned that the project came about through the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) component of India, Brazil, and South Africa (IBSA) and was being managed by NDMA in collaboration with Water-Aid Eswatini.
Mavuso noted that the use of solar pumps in areas without proper electricity has resulted in increased proportions of populations with access to adequate, equitable, and sustainable water, basic sanitation, and hygiene services in households.
The solar-powered boreholes were constructed at Mangenge where 61 households have benefitted; Moyeni with 81 families, as well as Masheleleni with 32 families. The Mangenge scheme also benefits two (2) schools, Baleni primary school (214 pupils and 11 teachers) and Mcuba Primary school (160 pupils and 12 teachers.
The construction of these solar-powered boreholes will benefit over 1 200 beneficiaries under the Mayiwane constituency in the Hhohho region.
Mavuso highlighted that for over 25 years, residents of Mashelelelni, Mangenge, and Moyeni have been consuming unclean water which they shared with livestock. Waterborne diseases became a norm, and diarrhea was prevalent in the area before the construction of the solar-powered boreholes.
Joy Magagula, one of the direct beneficiaries of the solar-powered borehole at Masheleleni narrated that the major challenge was that the elderly and the sick could not cope with the 2-hour long-distance one had to walk in order to collect water from the river for cooking and drinking. The discovery of dead livestock within the closest river was not an uncommon feat, and it raised fears about waterborne diseases that would arise.
The contamination of water sources by these substances made the water unusable for drinking and cooking. Today the intervention of solar-powered boreholes has led to improved access to water and enhanced hygiene. This will also improve the quality of life for the three areas, including the two schools. The communities gave their assurance that they would take care of the new solar-powered boreholes through water committees.
Without solar-powered water pumps, many communities in developing countries, including Eswatini, need to rely on rainfall and inaccessible water sources. Solar-powered boreholes are suitable technology because they offer a long-term solution to water scarcity, are environmentally friendly renewable energy, and provide water to thousands of people in communities. The water is pumped from the ground, using power generated from solar panels, making it a reliable clean, sustainable solution.
Solar-powered water pumps have many benefits which include:
Economical to operate – It has less running costs on a day-to-day basis
Eco-friendly – It uses clean energy as it relies 100% on on the sun
Can be used in remote areas where the power grid does not reach as it only requires a continuous number of hours of sunshine
Easy to maintain – Solar-powered water pumps have very few mechanical parts, which lessens the chances of components needing repairs. They can last for many years without requiring maintenance.
Increasing productivity – Solar-powered water pumps save time by not having to collect water, improving health, and making time for other productive activities.