ADRA Germany promotes the use of renewable energy in developing countries

ADRA Germany promotes the use of renewable energy in developing countries

Renewable energy is good for the economy because it creates jobs, improves know-how and can be used efficiently.

January 26, 2016 | Bern, Switzerland. | APD, ADRA Germany, CD EUDNEWS.

Renewable energy and development cooperation

Under the motto "preserve creation, strengthen people", Anna Lefik (Weiterstadt near Darmstadt), assistant of ADRA Germany (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) pointed to the connection between renewable energy and development cooperation.

In particular, the people in the Global South have suffered from the effects of climate change and progressive depletion. The key to a sustainable and healthy future is renewable energy. This depletes no resources and has no negative impact on the environment, said Lefik. These are also significantly less expensive in the long term. Even remote regions could be supplied with energy. So it makes people more independent and thus more resistant to natural disasters and economic crises. Moreover, renewable energy is good for the economy because it creates jobs, improves know-how and can be used efficiently.

A huge potential for development aid

In countries of the Global South there is a lot of sunshine, biomass and flowing water, energy that has previously  been only minimally used. The potential for development activities is therefore huge, explained Anna Lefik.  ADRA Germany has promoted the use of renewable energy in developing countries for many years.

For example, a noticeable negative effect on the environment and health of the natives of Vanua Balavu, one of the Fiji islands, was the use of diesel generators to generate electricity and open cooking areas. ADRA Germany therefore wanted to help the islanders with a recently started project by solar systems and solar cookers for better health and quality of life. Fish farms allowed the population more income and added protection for the environment. The project will be funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.

On Vanua Balavu diesel generators were used in the majority of households, as energy source especially for light at night. The fuel is expensive for local tribal families, whose main income is from agriculture and fishing. Therefore, not all families could afford the use of generators and in the evenings children would no longer be able to learn. Lefik pointed out that almost all families were cooking over an open fire, resulting in lung and heart disease. The firewood came generally  from the coastal mangrove forests. But uncontrolled deforestation leads to erosion of the coast and had a negative impact on biodiversity of the area and food security of the local population.

Better quality of life with solar energy

With solar power systems and solar cookers, ADRA Germany intends to improve the energy supply of 500 households on Vanua Balavu in an ecological and efficient manner. The solar energy system allows families to utilize a cost-effective lighting for the evenings, improving their quality of life and children would have more time to study and learn. Through the solar cookers, women are no longer exposed to harmful vapours while cooking and the number of respiratory and heart diseases will drop sharply, assured Anna Lefik. In addition, the villagers were given the opportunity to better provide and expand their job opportunities with the introduction of fish farms. These changes will guarantee environmental protection and in particular the protection of coastal areas. 

ADRA will also contribute in Somalia in a large-scale project of access to sustainable and affordable energy for 100,000 households. With the installation of photovoltaic systems and energy-saving cooking stoves, the quality of life improves immensely. Also in Vietnam renewable energy altered the living conditions of ethnic minorities in remote areas for the better. ADRA will also teach small-scale farmers knowledge about climate and environment, forest protection, climate-resilient agricultural technologies and renewable energy models.

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