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Emerging Future of Green Energy

Communities for Change (C4C) at Impact Hub Harare aimed to educate and mobilize stakeholders and the general public in an action-oriented innovation process to bring about social change in the community, with a focus on the environmental sector. Collectively the members of this program had to formulate and identify strategic ways of addressing and ensuring sustainable, affordable, and clean energy in Zimbabwe.  One of the main challenges noted was that the local communities resisted green energy products due to a “fear of the unknown” and a lack of understanding.

 

The C4C program – Sustainable and Affordable Clean Energy offered a group of 20 participants, including energy experts experienced in running their own business and being part of NGOs, the opportunity to go through the Theory U course, where they reflected on self, challenges facing society, and how a collective approach can bring about social change.

 

Outcomes

The outcomes from the journey to unlocking the emerging future of green energy are:

“Ghetto Gas project” chose to focus on a low-income community in Mbare to improve the hygienic sanitation. The rationale behind this prototype was that if done correctly it will provide a cheap alternative form of fuel and solve the problems of garbage collection (waste management and cheaper power supply) instead of the current electricity and LPG gas usage that is expensive.

 

Access to clean water and biosand filters in Manyame Park: Although these prototypes exist already, the idea is to make them more accessible and affordable to people who usually don’t have access. This location was selected since residents in the area use water fetched directly from the Manyame catchment which is highly polluted, creating a high risk for diseases emanating from poor water quality and sanitation. When designed and maintained well, the filter removes turbidity, heavy metals, and pathogenic microorganisms including bacteria, protozoa, and viruses.

“Both these initiatives will require campaigns to deal with the fear that people have about using the water. The next step is for us to go back in those fields and sense again if it is really the right prototype for them and sense again where each community stands in regard to those prototypes. We want the communities to have ownership of this prototype.

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“The highlight has been to go to the field trip in a farm in Guruve to get in touch with what they are doing in regards to green energy. One of the key learnings was that going green doesn’t mean you have to go tech!