GSWI visit report to Ethiopia
A two week visit was done to two refugee locations in Ethiopia namely Shire and Asosa refugee camps in Ethiopia with 17 water points being visited. In shire 10 water points were visited spread out in 4 camps namely Shimelba, Hitsats, Mai-Aini and Adi Harush. In Asosa, 7 water points were visited which are spread out in 3 camps namely Bambasi, Tsore and Sherkole. The water points were a combination of deep wells, river pumping systems and collection chambers/boosting stations and are all motorized and running on diesel generator power.
The visit included collection of all relevant data necessary for a technical and economic analysis of the systems in order to determine feasibility for solar pumping. Of note is that none of the water points visited were running on solar power hence the potential for solar power remains untapped. However the technical expertise of the implementing partners for solar pumping is absent and this seems to be the major challenge for adoption of solar power in Shire and Asosa.
Implementing partners have faced several challenges -that in some cases led to water shortages- such as failure of generators, delay in fuel delivery due to flooding in the wet season, unavailability of service and repair kits for the generators with some repairable generators being abandoned and new expensive replacement sets being procured due to lack of parts. These among others are some of the issues that are making adoption of solar power for pumping to be a feasible alternative in both locations.
Following the visit, a technical and economic analysis of the water points was carried out for 26 water points (including 9 that were not visited but data for them was provided by UNHCR, 2 of which are supplying water to the host community).