Harnessing Renewable Energy to Address Community Needs
In Liberia, the government has undertaken the restoration and reconstruction of the traditional hydro-power plants which were destroyed in the civil war. Additionally, Solar and Wind farms have also been included in energy production plans. However, as beneficial and important as these movements are, a clean eco-friendly future cannot be secured without addressing the simple micro issues, such as how a person cooks their meal; by firewood, improved cook stove or solar?
At the personal request of Liberia’s President, Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf, NGO Sustainability is planning a project for the Maryland province of Liberia, in which we will introduce environmentally friendly technologies such as solar cookers, improved cook stoves, water pasteurization indicators (WAPIs), and solar lanterns.
Workshops will be held led by trainers who will instruct the community on how to use, maintain and construct these technologies.
A local NGO, “Marylanders for Progress,” will be responsible for the program, for which NGO Sustainability will be assisting.
Funding will be from the UNDP/GEF Small Grants Programme (SFP-GEF), with the responsibility to find partners for additional funding sources.
For the past few weeks we have been assessing the technologies which we hope to utilize on the project. We look for not only sustainability but practicality: Can the Solar lantern brightly light a 4m by 5m room? Can the Solar cooker easily prepare a meal for a family of 5 (which is the average size of a Liberian household)? We believe that the availability of such features will ease the acceptance of the product by the local community.
This project will have an approximate 4 month initial introductory work session.
By the end, we hope to replace the current unsustainable technologies (such as open-fire cooking etc.) in the Maryland province with sustainable eco-friendly technologies. At the very least, we hope to boost the eco-movement in the province by giving the people a green option.