Small Scale Solar in Liberia
At the personal request of the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Nobel Prize laureate, and a former colleague of Roma Stibravy’s from the UN Development Programme, invited NGO Sustainability to initiate a renewable energy program in Liberia.
NGO Sustainability’s project, “Introducing Small Scale Solar in Liberia,” seeks to support community participation through training in the use and production of solar cookers, improved cook stoves, solar pumps, and solar lanterns. If successful, this project could be replicated in other parts of Liberia to help communities mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Promoting solar powered cooking in Liberia will help reduce the health threat posed by biomass stoves. According to the World Health Organization, 1.6 million women and children in developing countries die from fumes from indoor biomass stoves annually. Close attention must be paid to women and children, who are mainly responsible for wood-gathering and cooking.
President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (on the right).
As an alternative, we recommend an ecologically conscious cooking approach that includes both solar cookers and improved cookstoves because they are convenient for rural villages, simple to assemble, and cost effective. Additionally, solar cookers can be used in conjunction with water purification devices, unlike fossil fuels or biomass, reducing the risk of water borne diseases from contaminated drinking water.
The Liberian population’s dependence on biomass fuel has accelerated environmental degradation, and created adverse health, social, and economic impacts. Therefore, NGO Sustainability’s project to promote solar cookers in Liberia would not only serve the country’s interest, but also provide a model for other developing communities to improve their standards of living in a sustainable, carbon-neutral fashion.
NGO Sustainability is also working with the President of Tubman University, Dr. Elizabeth Davis-Russell, and the President of Marylanders for Progress, Roberta Brown, to create a solar training faculty and a solar center for West Africa. The University is looking to use solar power for 70% of its energy needs.