Launching of Programmes in Renewable Energy at Fandema AssociationMay 17, 2016
The Resident Representative (RR) of the UNDP in The Gambia Ms. Ade Mamonyane Lekoetje was guest speaker at the launching of the Fandama Women Development Centre also known as Mbolo Association, Tujereng, Kombo South. Event was held on 17th May 2016 at Fandema Centre in Tujjereng. Dignitaries that attended included The Permanent Secretary Office of the Vice President Deputizing for the Vice Present and Minter of Women’s Affairs.
The vision of Mbolo calls for bringing together venerable women in the West Coast Region to enhance their livelihood through strengthening of their productive capacities through training in entrepreneurship while powering their productive capacities in renewable energy. The UNDP Country office provides support to Association through the Global Environment Fund (GEF) small grants programme.
In her statement the RR described the vision of the Centre as a “noble one”, one that is fully aligned with the country’s national priorities and Goal 7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The RR’s Statement further touched on the gender dimensions of renewable energy highlighting the different energy needs of men and women. She noted the opportunity costs to women associated with walking long distance to fetch firewood, the security risks that could be encountered and the health risks in inefficient burning of biomass from cooking stoves. The RR emphasized that due to such salient differences, it is important to include women in the design and implementation of programs of the energy sector.
Furthermore, the RR commended The Gambia Government and Civil Society organizations for making significant strides to improve the renewable energy sector. She added that the country is blessed with abundant solar resources i.e. 365 days of sunshine, a good biomass resource in most areas, a modest wind regime across the coast and has built incredible human capacity in some renewable applications such as solar and water heating systems; but with existing gaps in public education programmes and formalized technical training. She therefore applauded Fandama for coming in as a key player to address such gaps and to contribute to improvements of the socioeconomic conditions of women. She observed that the use of solar power would now cut down on cost of electricity, reduce time and effort involved in household chores as well as eliminate health risks associated with current energy practices.
The event was punctuated with songs and dance by young students of the Centre.