Powering WASH - Q&A

From energypedia

This page documents the questions that were asked during the webinar: Powering WASH - Renewable Energy for Water Supply in Humanitarian Settings

Questions Asked to all Speakers

  • What are the suggestions from presenters on ground water resource management to government agencies adopting solar powered water pumping on large scale?

The use of the solar power is limited to a maximum of 8 hours and this in itself is a way to manage the ground water resources.

  • How good is the synergy and cooperation among government and non-governmental organizations?

The ICRC involved the three levels of Administration in Juba for all the activities. The collection of data pertaining to the boreholes drilled was done in conjunction with the Juba City Council Engineers and this information was shared with the Juba City Council, Ministry of Water Resources and all organizations that work in the WASH sector. The information from the epidemiology study was used by Maltesa and the German Toilet organization to prioritise where they would start their Community Led Total Sanitation project.

  • The use of generators during overcast or rainy seasons was mention by one presenter. Are there other strategies utilized to overcome seasonal reductions in solar availability?

Not now, the solar system essentially reduces the needs to use a generator but does eliminate the need for a generator.

  • When the price of solar systems will be decreased? any idea or how we can reduce the prices?

The main cost for the solar water yards are the water tower and storage tank, that are used to eliminate the use of a booster pump to pump water in a community. The pipeline quality of material is important to ensure that the system works for longer. The design and material used for the construction of the tamp stand maybe where the savings can be done.

  • Are you supplying the water free of charge? If not what system is used? The water is not free of charge. Once a decision is made to install a large solar water yard, the community engagement begins.

We explain the ICRC role until the handover of the project and that the community should be in charge. We invite the chairman of one community, where they have had a functional water committee for more than 5 years to explain how they manage the wateryard, collect and save the fees, and how they plan to use these fees. The community then selects the community members, the kiosks operators, based on their character. 

  • For the water yards, can you briefly explain how they are operated e.g. by municipality or community group? user-fee based, financial management arrangement?

They are operated by the water committee and the community. The amount to be paid for water is decided by the community. The money is saved in different way, in a bank, or at times at the house of one of the committee members.

  • Did the water yard installations face any issues from high wind speeds? What precautions were taken in design to ensure the panels and structure don’t get impacted from high speed winds?

The solar panels are welded to the solar frame for security, and this also prevents the solar panels being affected by the wind.

  • What has been your experience/challenges outside Juba in terms of the sustainability/maintenance as many people maybe, vulnerable and unable to raise money for sustainability in most remote areas in South Sudan?

When the water supply is a hand pump, everyone collects water until a breakdown occurs and the community raises funds to rehabilitate the pump. In terms of a solar water yard, one of the communities give water to the families that cannot afford, 20l, and for any community functions such as weddings and funerals, the family will receive 200 liters of water for free. In South Sudan this question will be answered as part of the monitoring for the newly constructed solar water yards

In Nigeria, the solar water yards we installed mostly were for health facilities. They had two water storage tanks, of 5m³ each, one dedicated to the health and the other the community. In this case water supply was for free and the maintenance the responsibility of the Primary Health Care Centers. In Syria, the solar powered water yards are maintained the Water Authorities and Associations belong to Ministry of Local Administration, and the water is pumped to the beneficiaries who pay for water on a bi-monthly basis