In Kanungu district of south western Uganda, the Technology Applicability Framework (TAF) work was used to assess the potential of solar powered water pumping in the country.The exercise involved representatives from the Ministry of Water and Environment, Technical Support Units (TSUs),Kanungu district local governments, local NGOs, research institutions, private sector enterprises and beneficially communities. The assessment was based on the following dimension: social acceptance of the technology in the community, environmental dimension, and affordability of the technology by community members, skills and knowhow.
Solar powered pumping for domestic supply has great potential in Uganda if the following issues are adequately addressed:
- Scheme operators and beneficially communities should provide adequate security measures to protect solar panels from theft. In addition, communities using solar water powered pumps and bore holes should be able to access loans from banks or financial institutions for replacement of highly expensive scheme components in the event of their failure or theft.
- Since there are many counterfeit solar technology products on the market, there is need for tight government monitoring of registered suppliers to ensure counterfeit parts are not sold. It’s these products which rapidly fail, impacting on public confidence in solar water pumping technology.
- There is also need to enhance solar technical capacity in the Ministry of Water and Environment and the regional Technical Support Units (TSU). The solar pump scheme operators also need to be trained in preventive maintenance so that they can carry out simple repairs in time.
Watch the video about WASHTech and the assessment of solar pumping in Kanungu district, Uganda here: http://youtu.be/MS8DUfhFOmg
Read about the the assessment of solar pumping in Kanungu district, Uganda in this briefing note