Who, What & Where

  • OffgridSun
  • Strengthening the Resilience of Rural Communities Affected by Drought Due to El Niño by building wells and equipping them with solar pumping facilities together with appropriate training.
  • Lupane & Makoni districts, Harare, Zimbabwe

The Company

OffgridSun is an Italian solar company specialising in the development, design, manufacturing and commercialisation of leading-edge solar photovoltaic technologies that provide durable and affordable access to energy in the rural areas of the developing world, as well as in the other areas with limited or no access to grid electricity. 

The Challenge

  • EL Niño is a cyclical pattern causing droughts in southern Africa, among others in Zimbabwe. This creates challenges in terms of food security, access to drinkable water, and resistance to natural, economic and social shocks.
  • In 2018, a severe drought hit the Zimbabwe, one of the most difficult to manage in the last years.

Renewable Solution

  • Building wells and equipping them with solar pumping facilities together with appropriate training, directly mitigates the risks of droughts in this arid area and provides access to water.
  • Women will spend less time collecting water, unlocking more time to dedicate to other productive activities.
  • The equipment allows a better water supply for schools, nutritional gardens and watering of cattle.
  • Each solar pumping system is powered by 11 PV modules of 260 W.
    • A supporting structure.
    • 1.1 kW submerged hydraulic pump.
    • Driver equipped with a Bluetooth monitoring system allowing for remote control and engine management of the pump. 
    • Nine such systems were installed.

Project Financing and Costs

  • EUR 890,000
    • EUR 846,000 were received in the form of a grant from AICS.
    • COSV, ActionAid Zimbabwe and LEAD together provided approximately EUR 44,000 in equity.

Project Outcome

  • 350 people benefited from the implementation of the OffgridSun solar pumping systems, overall improving their access to water.
  • About 135 people had new income generation opportunities concerning water management in two districts.
  • The productivity of growing cereals and vegetables increased by 15% on average over the 3-year project period.