About the Author: Anthony Woods serves as Regional Environment and Health Officer for Southern Africa, based in Gaborone, Botswana.
In conjunction with Earth Day on April 22, the United States Ambassador to Botswana Stephen Nolan inaugurated the newest community-based solar energy project at Kaziikini Campsite in Botswana. This project, one of eight Clean Energy sites in Angola, Botswana, and Namibia sponsored by USAID Southern Africa, will provide clean, renewable energy to this community-managed campsite as part of a biodiversity conservation program.
Chief Moalosi of the Sankuyu community has been a leader in recognizing the importance of this project for his community. “Over the years, the projects we have started with USAID assistance have helped us employ over 150 people in Sankuyu,” he explains. “This employment saves lives, because community people can now buy food in this impoverished area and improve their economic situation. This recent solar power project will attract more tourists to the campground, and then more income and jobs will come back to community members.”
The United States government has invested $90,000 for solar installations in Angola, Botswana, and Namibia. Almost 10,000 people will be directly impacted by these projects.