solar pumpsIn September 2015, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) installed solar pumps in Upper Gana and Jawe, two communities in southern Ethiopia.
The new solar pumps developed by the Dutch NGO Practica and produced in Kenya are for the first time being implemented in Ethiopia. Africa RISING is the first to test them out – or rather the farmers are the first.
Together with IWMI, farmers cultivating avocado, fodder and vegetables will be testing the robustness of the technology in the upcoming dry season. Aside from the agronomic and irrigation research, IWMI will be working with the Omo Micro Finance Institution to assess whether it is a viable investment.
In the short time that the solar pumps have been in the field, farmers have seen multiple benefits: for example a new market has popped up. Charging a phone on solar energy in the fields will cost 2 Ethiopian birr! If you are ever in the area make sure you stop by at one of our farmers’ fields.
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Contributed by Petra Schmitter (IWMI)

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