By Kizito Makoye
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (AA)
Over 200,000 Burundian refugees in the Eastern African nation of Tanzania will soon benefit from a mega solar-powered water treatment facility as part of global efforts to improve sanitation in refugee camps.
After nearly a decade of war and political unrest, there are some 110,00-238,000 refugees from neighboring Burundi in Tanzania, according to aid agencies.
The solar initiative, co-funded by Christian NGO Water Mission and the Danish-based Poul Due Jensen Foundation, will produce 226,000 watts of power to provide a continuous supply of safe water to keep under children from getting sick and dying from waterborne diseases.
“The Western Tanzania project will showcase that solar pumping is a durable, affordable, and cost-saving solution, in rural regions that are difficult to service and maintain,” said a statement by Christian Hartvig, the foundation’s executive director.
The project is aimed to pump 100 percent of the water using solar power with diesel generators as backup, the group said.
Since 2010, Water Mission has relied on SolarWorld panels for its projects in some of the world’s most remote and harsh conditions because of their high quality and durability compared to other less expensive panels that have been tested or used on projects.
The three-year project entails retrofitting nine existing boreholes in the Nyarugusu and Mtendeli settlements with Danish Grundfos’ renewable, solar-pumping technologies, the statement said.
The studies, design, and solar installations at the nine wells will be completed by the end of 2017, it added.
Since 2008, Water Mission has installed over 1,000 solar-powered, safe water solutions in community-managed projects in developing countries around the world, according to the group.