Clean energy illuminates Lesotho’s future

NEO SENOKO

MASERU - Clean energy is indisputably the future in Lesotho with more than 8000 households countrywide now using such products, according to the Africa Clean Energy (ACE) marketing manager Reitumetse Pitso. Africa Clean Energy launched the first-ever energy shop in Butha-Buthe on Monday, the first of its kind in the country with the support of the European Union (EU).

Pitso said the aim is to ensure ACE makes a difference by providing more access to energy for the community in the area. “Our vision is to create a network of energy shops throughout the country so that every household, regardless of where they are, will have access to energy products, accessories, fuel and energy services. We are attempting to do something that has never been done before and Butha-Buthe seemed the perfect starting point,” Pitso said in an interview with Public Eye on Wednesday this week.

Africa Clean Energy is the producer of the ACE1 solar biomass energy system, an advanced cooking stove, which reduces smoke emissions to negligible levels. ACE1 is among the cleanest and most high-tech stoves currently available, providing clean cooking with a range of biomass fuels as well as offering solar electricity for mobile phone charging.

“The ACE1 cooks faster, easier and healthier whether we are referring to energy used at an industrial level or at household level. It makes energy access more efficient because it uses 50-70 percent less fuel and gives free access to phone charging and LED lighting,” the marketing manager added.

ACE became one of the beneficiaries of a financing agreement that was signed between the government of Lesotho and the EU in January 2017. The programme seeks to reduce the use of biomass in households, increase the access for the disenfranchised in Lesotho through technologies that are low in the use of biomass fuels and also increase access to modern energy services in Lesotho with a specific focus in rural areas.

EU ambassador Dr Christian Manahl said: “It is with great pleasure to have funded ACE in one of the EU projects that enable the Lesotho population to have access to this marvelous product that will not only help gain access to renewable energy but also save lives in terms of a clean environment, reduced deforestation and save a lot of money spent on fuel.”

Today, three billion people worldwide are cooking on open fires or using dirty and dangerous fuels. Reports show that there are a huge number of negative impacts attributable to these practices. Indoor air pollution contributes to four million deaths every year and excessively affects women and children.

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