Pic credit: hostholik
Tanzanian agro processing companies are reliant on diesel generators to ensure that production remains uninterrupted Pic credit: hostholik

In East Africa, German company Redavia, which provides redeployable solar farms, has partnered with Global Village Energy Partnership (GVEP) a non-profit organisation, to implement the leasing of mini-grids for agro processing companies and communities in Tanzania.

Earlier this month GVEP said in a statement that agro processing companies are reliant on heavy fuel and expensive backup power solutions to keep operations going due to the country’s frequent power outages.

Benefits of the solar farms

The low-cost per kWh rental solar farms enable business and communities to access power immediately without having to outlay money upfront.

According to GVEP, Redavia provides and installs fully-removable turn-key solar farms on flexible contracts.

The solar farms are set up as hybrid power systems with each farm equipped with a generator.

In a company statement GVEP said that they are looking to partner with agro processing companies and NGOs in Tanzania that are currently reliant on expensive diesel generators and/or who suffer from unreliable electricity supply.

Water shortages

In other news, Tanzania has experienced an increase in irrigated farming coupled with the country’s high susceptibility to drought, which has resulted in low water reserves at two hydropower facilities.

As a result, the Tanzanian government has plans to declare water supplies of the Southern Mtera and Kidatu hydropower plants protected sites.

The ban would prohibit all types of irrigated farming that is located close to reservoirs or other water resources, which would have a negative impact on the sustainability and longevity of livestock, fish and crop farming in the affected areas.

Climate change

Farmers believe that the lack of water is not due to water wastage but rather the result of climate change.

Damas John, a pastoralist in Kidatu village in Morogoro said: “I don’t think telling farmers to stop irrigation will be a lasting solution because there’s simply not enough rain to fill up the dams.”

Instead of placing water bans, innovating designs for water harvesting should be implemented.

Ladislaus Chang’a, director of research and applied meteorology at the Tanzania Meteorological Agency said: “Micro-dams could help conserve water to support the main dam in months of extreme rainfall variability.

“The stored water could then be used to recharge the reservoir and prevent its level from dropping to a critical point.”

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