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Monday, 07 May 2018

Southern Africa: ACP Facility Helps Fight Energy Hunger

Sixty-seven-year old Sarudzai Msipa heavily blows air in and out of her mouth, seated in the open-air on a goat skin mat outside her hut as she battles to revive a dying fire on her cooking place set up in the middle of her yard at her remote home in Mwenezi district in Zimbabwe’s Masvingo Province. Just three sticks are in the fire to keep it alive and there is no sign of leftover firewood nearby. To Msipa, this means times are tough for her and many other villagers as the energy hunger takes a knock on them in this part of Southern Africa. Even getting solar for lighting, is a non-starter for the Southern African region's many rural dwellers like Msipa who have to bear the brunt of the region’s deepening energy hunger. "I have no paraffin nor solar for lighting purposes. I can’t afford to buy these because I have no income and worse still I cannot have electricity either," Msipa told IDN. For Msipa, as for several other villagers here, even firewood has become hard to come by as the country’s forests are fast fading away. Of late, Zimbabwe in particular has been losing 350 000 hectares of forests each year, according to the country’s Ministry of Environment. This means many Southern Africans like Msipa have to endure energy hunger as forests fade away. To survive in the face of the mounting energy hunger in the region, Africans like Msipa have to cut the few remaining trees for their energy. And as Southern Africa bears the brunt of energy poverty, currently 1.6 billion people globally – mainly in rural and peri-urban areas of developing countries – do not have access to electricity while 2.4 billion people rely on traditional biomass for cooking and heating.

Source: ACP