Aptech Africa recently supplied and installed a solar powered water pumping project to six communities in Sierra Leone. This project was funded by UNICEF.
This system consisted of a 3 hp pump powered by a 4.95 KW PV system and a 5hp pump powered by a 9.8 KW PV system. This system is pumping over 30,000L of water per day to a reservoir tank that provides water to the local community health center and six surrounding communities.
In Sierra Leone, the average life expectancy is only 56 years, and this is largely caused by poor living conditions. Almost 50% of the population is not using a protected water source for drinking. Commonly used unsafe drinking sources include freestanding water, such as ponds, and unprotected wells. Waterborne diseases are one of the largest causes of death in Sierra Leone. Poor sanitation generates high risk of hepatitis A, Typhoid fever, parasites, and other infections. Malaria which is carried by mosquitoes that breed in free-standing water is one of the most common causes of death. Overall, health and standard of living are poor.
Innovative solutions, such as this solar water pumping system, can provide clean reliable water to improve the sanitation conditions in the local health center, as well as reduce disease and time spent fetching water for the local communities. Solar powered systems ensure that beneficiaries are not dependent on the grid which can have frequent power outages, or diesel fuel which can have high fluctuating costs. Through projects like this, Aptech is working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 of clean water and sanitation.