Over 9000 People Regain Clean Water with the help of Solar Power

ADDIS ABABA – Beyond 2020, a UAE-driven humanitarian initiative, has deployed six solar-powered water pumps in Ethiopia’s Dirashe District enabling residents to gain access to safe drinking water year-round.

Six shallow wells with solar pumps have been installed in the Walessa, Holte, and Gato areas of the district, says  Zayed Sustainability Prize (ZSP) which launched the initiative together with its partners.

At least 9,000 people in the Dirashe District have benefited from sustainable access to potable water, reducing the incidence of waterborne diseases and improving overall health.

UAE’s Technology minister and director general of the Prize Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said, “Beyond2020 and its partners are delighted to have been able to improve the livelihoods of three communities… with access to this essential resource.”

The Dirashe District residents are primarily farmers who practice sustainable agriculture, a type of farming method that seeks to protect the environment and improve the productivity of agricultural systems. 

The communities in Walessa, Holte, and Gato are in the low land areas where drinking water is scarce. To address the water shortage issue, several shallow hand-pump wells were drilled in the villages in 2014.

However, due to the mechanical operation of the hand pumps and their maintenance-intensive nature, the wells were frequently inoperable, leaving the community without sustainable access to clean water. 

Now, those water wells have been retrofitted with solar pumps, with each well supplying 20,000-25,000 liters of clean drinking water every day, which is enough to meet the village’s drinking, sanitation, and agricultural needs.  

The deployment was implemented by the Zeyad Sustainability Prize finalist Solarkiosk Solutions, a German-based company that provides rural, off-grid electricity.

This “is a perfect example of how we can create meaningful change and address the urgent issues posed by climate change when we come together,” said Al Jaber who is also COP28 President-Designate.

Apart from Ethiopia, the initiative has so far rolled out 15 deployments in Nepal, Tanzania, Uganda, Jordan, Egypt, Cambodia, Madagascar, Indonesia, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Rwanda, Peru, Lebanon, and Sudan.