An alternative care home, SOS Children’s Village, and a boarding school for children with learning disabilities, Camphill Community Trust, both based in Botswana, are set to receive and benefit from the installation of 50 thermosyphon solar water heaters, which will directly improve the lives of 240 people, with thanks to grants from the SOLTRAIN project, funded by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and the a locally based mining company, Debswana Diamond Company, the world’s biggest diamond producer by value.
Accounting for around 30% of the Botswana’s GDP annually, Debswana’s sustainability and carbon neutral goals and strategic plan for 2030 align closely with the goals of both the SOLTRAIN project and the Solar Industry Association Botswana (SIAB), which led to the company supporting the collaborative solar project through their Corporate Social Investment program. The project is set to be completed by September 2022.
Two SMEs, who are member companies of SIAB, Capricon Solar and Hydrocon Green, will install 120m 2 of collectors, which will lead to a number of benefits including job creation, long-term financial savings, energy savings, contributions towards national carbon emission reduction targets, training of artisans and maintenance teams, and public awareness for renewable energy technologies. Furthermore, the long-term benefits of the partnership between the association and Debswana are expected to extend beyond this project into collaborations in other initiatives that promote the use of renewable energy and upliftment of the communities. The initiative is a flagship project between the association and a private sector company in Botswana, which paves the way to develop similar working relationships with other organisations, as well as to strengthen the impact of SIAB.