Mekanissa: In an effort to walk in the path of Self-sustainability and become a self-supporting province, the AET province of Ethiopia in the East African region is becoming a stunning model as it has launched a Solar campaign in the province almost two years ago. The Solar campaign which took the shape of the “13 Months of Solar Power in Ethiopia Project” was totally funded by the ADA (Austrian Development Agency).
The project included the installation of solar panels in many of the salesian centers, ‘Training of the Trainers’ program carried out in many TVET colleges of the province, Solar awareness campaign in the academic schools through leaflets and pamphlets, Symposiums and discussions held at national level on the topic of renewable energy, in addition to the solar departments opened in the four technical schools run by the Salesians in Ethiopia, namely Adwa, Mekanissa, Dilla and Gambella.
From 22nd January to 02nd February was held a two weeks training program for all the federal TVET teachers of Ethiopia. The training was entirely coordinated by Br. Christof Baum SDB, Mr. Alemseged from PDO and two electric teachers from Don Bosco Adwa TVET college. The training program saw the active participation of 26 representatives who had come from the various regions of Ethiopia. The training program aimed at equipping the electric teachers in the various TVET centers to be able to teach Solar technology to their students by themselves. It also focused in giving the students enough knowledge, so that they can start their own business and get income by installation, repairing and maintenance of the solar system which is taking fast momentum in Ethiopia.
The content of the training included renewable and non-renewable energy, Effect of CO2 on the climate change, Electric energy generation in Ethiopia, situation of electricity in the rural areas of Ethiopia etc. The training was highly appreciated by all the participants who attended the course and thanked the Salesians of Don Bosco and the PDO and the Public TVET agency in taking such initiatives and making it possible and accessible for such a group of participants at a larger scale.
The training also becomes very relevant for Ethiopia, as a good majority still live in the rural areas and there is a rising need to come out of the darkness in the evening. With the use of small solar lantern, the people get enough light without smoke and any health problems. With the solar systems the people are also able to charge their mobiles and other gadgets without travelling to the next bigger village for these facilities.
The project is still on till the end of 2018. So much has been accomplished in such a short time. Much more is yet to come but the Salesians are happy to be part of making the country to go more and more organic and energy saving.