CHOLOLO ECOVILLAGE GOES SOLAR

“Thanks to the European Union funded Chololo Ecovillage project for providing a solar water pump to Chololo village”, says the Chololo Village Chairperson.

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The Problem

Since 1972 the village has relied on a diesel-engine water pump, which was using 6 litres of diesel per day, costing 12,000 Tanzanian Shillings (TZS). This was about 360,000/= per month (€180). Also the diesel engine was old and inefficient. In a month it could work only for two weeks and repair per month was about 200,000/= (€100). In total the village was using 560,000/= (280 Euro) per month to get water, and the system was very unreliable.

The Solution

The Chololo Ecovillage project saw this problem, evaluated various options, discussed with the Chololo community and the District water authority, and agreed to replace the diesel water pump with a solar-energy based system. In August 2013, Chololo ecovillage project installed the solar panel array and submersible electric pump, which can supply water to the village from 7.00am to 6.00pm. The village has a 23,000 litre water tank which the solar water pump needs 6-7 hours to fill. During these hours the village water taps are closed. Once the water tank is full, at around 1.00pm, the water taps in all six water distribution points (one in each sub village) are opened and water is available for the Chololo community up to 7.00 pm. In a day the solar water pump can pump around 40,000 litres. At 1.00 pm there are many people fetching water from the water distribution points but by 6.00pm almost all people are satisfied.

Recently people from the nearby villages of Mnase (Chamwino District) and Mapinduzi (Dodoma Municipal) were fetching water from Chololo village and the local community were complaining that the water supply was not sufficient. However, since the Mnase borehole was repaired, people from Mnase are no longer coming to fetch water, and it seems that the solar pump provides adequate water for the Chololo community.

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Cost Recovery

The Chololo village community has decided to charge 25 TZS per 20 litre bucket of water. This is half the previous water charge of 50 TZS per bucket under the diesel powered system. If 80% of water pumped by solar water pump per day (40,000 litrs) is sold, the village can collect 40,000/= (20 EURO) per day. In a month the village can collect 1,200,000/= (600 EURO) or 14,400,000/= (7,200 EURO) per year. This money will be used to pay the village water committee allowance and repair and improve water infrastructure.

Benefits of using solar water pump

  • Chololo community is assured of getting clean water 6 hours per day all year around.
  • Money which was used for diesel fuel and engine repairs can be used to improve water infrastructure in the village
  • The price of water has been halved from 50 – 25 TZS per bucket, enabling the poorer village community members to contribute
  • More water is available for building, enabling more people to build improved houses
  • Using solar energy to pump water produces no greenhouse gases, contributing to climate change mitigation. Using 6 litres of diesel per day to pump water, the village was producing 16 kg of carbon dioxide per day. In a year 5,840 kg of carbon dioxide was produced. (One litre of diesel fuel produces 2.67 kg of carbon dioxide http://www.epa.gov/otaq/climate/420f05001.htm#calculating).

 

Many thanks to the European Union for funding Chololo Ecovillage Project

 

 

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