IBSA Fund Annual Report- GUINEA-BISSAU 3
Rural Electrification through Solar-energy Systems
Duration Project I:
July 2011 – May 2015
Mostly contributing to:
25 villages; Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; UNDP Guinea-Bissau; Central Electronics Limited
This initiative focused on bringing solar energy to 20 villages and expanded the solar energy component of a previous IBSA Fund project in Guinea-Bissau, incorporating lessons from the five pilot villages that had initially received and had been using solar equipment. It supported all villages to develop effective and sustainable management of solar equipment.
- 20,000 community members benefited from solar energy provided in their homes, schools and community centres and for street lights and solar water pumps.
- 120 beneficiaries (62% female) participated in workshops on village mobilization regarding the management of solar energy systems. Other community members volunteered for the work supporting the installation of solar equipment.
- The solar energy in youth centres and schools helped women to learn to read and write in the evenings.
Challenges and Lesson Learned
- This project benefited from the lessons learned during previous IBSA Fund projects in Guinea-Bissau, particularly the pilot initiative providing solar energy equipment. It incorporated concerns about community organization for the management of micro-utilities as well as the safety and security of solar energy systems.
- Heavy rains damaged solar panels in one of the partner villages. The external infrastructure for hosting the equipment was subsequently reinforced, and a partnership was established with the Secretary of State for Energy to assist in reviewing and maintaining solar panels installed by the project.