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Title: Clean energy and water : low-cost climate adaptation options for East Africa; draft journal article
Authors: Karekezi, Stephen
Otuke, Jared
Kanyata, Godfrey
Date: Aug-2012
Publisher: AFREPREN/FWD, Nairobi, KE
Abstract: The energy sector in the Eastern African region is characterized by an over-reliance on traditional biomass energy resources, limited access to modern energy services and very low levels of electrification, particularly in rural areas. A similar pattern is found in the water sector where access to piped water is limited with many parts of rural Eastern Africa typified by complete absence of water pipe infrastructure. Case studies presented in this paper demonstrate that in cases where preference is given to low-cost renewable energy technologies that have been adapted to meet water services for disadvantaged communities, positive impacts have been registered especially in terms of food security and increased household incomes. Findings of the paper indicate that governments in the region are providing limited support for low-cost renewable energy technologies that enhance water services for the poor such as wind pumps and treadle pumps. In addition, there are no existing explicit policies that support the dissemination of renewable energy technologies for water services as an adaptation strategy to climate change. This paper argues that one of the possible reasons for limited policy support for promoting low-cost renewable energy technologies such as treadle pumps and windpumps as priority adaptation measures for the water services sector is the fact that these technologies straddle three different sectors, often overseen by different line Ministries – namely, energy, water and agriculture – that, in most East African countries, operate as distinct policy and operational silos. Any policy measure or implementation initiative designed to promote these technologies would entail crossing institutional boundaries thus complicating attempts to mobilize high-level policy support. One possible response to this institutional challenge proposed by this paper may be the creation of dedicated, specialized and ring-fenced institutions that can promote low-cost renewable energy options such as treadle pumps and windpumps. This institutional response could constitute a valuable path for future in-depth research. Although existing case study evidence does demonstrate that low-cost renewables can strengthen the water sector‟s adaptative capability to climate change, more in-depth and long-term empirical studies are required to generate more convincing evidence for Eastern African policy makers as well as to better understand the extent to which climate change may adversely affect the performance of recommended low-cost renewables such as treadle pumps and windpumps.
Project Number: 106298
Project Title: Clean Energy and Water : an Assessment of Services for Adaptation to Climate Change
Access: IDRC Only
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