GOOD NEWS | Solar geyser project is changing the lives of unemployed youth | Fin24

A photo voltaic geyser answer is bringing heat working water to casual dwellings.

  • Community members within the Witsand casual settlement can get heat, working water of their properties because of a photo voltaic geyser undertaking.
  • The pilot undertaking, launched by Lulalab Foundation, is ridding the surroundings of plastic waste whereas creating jobs.
  • For each 100 geysers put in, three folks might be employed, and if this rolls out in additional communities, extra folks might be employed.

A photo voltaic geyser undertaking launched by the Lulalab Foundation is ridding the surroundings of plastic waste whereas additionally creating jobs for unemployed youth and bringing heat, working water to susceptible households.

The undertaking is being piloted in casual settlements in Atlantis within the Western Cape. This is after the Atlantis Special Economic Zone put out a name for sanitation options for folks residing in casual settlements, says Sippy Mpofu, undertaking supervisor for Lulalab.

Lulalab is a non-profit firm based in 2016, and is the “social arm” of Lulaway Holdings, a youth employment options firm, defined Lulalab CEO Errol Freeman. Freeman is a co-founder of Lulaway and moved to Lulalab on a full-time foundation in 2020. Lulalab is concentrated on social options and had beforehand piloted the Letsatsi Water Project in Hopefield, Soweto, which is analogous.

Through the partnership with the Atlantis Special Economic Zone, the pilot was funded for rollout within the casual settlements of Witsand and Pella.

The photo voltaic geyser is made up of 100% recycled plastic that’s moulded right into a geyser panel, which might be mounted to a home. Water is fed from a 50-litre tank to 5 two-litre coke bottles fastened to the geyser panel to be warmed. That water is then fed to a faucet that may be put in inside or exterior the dwelling, defined Mpofu.

The system permits folks to entry heat water to clean their fingers, bathtub or do their dishes. The water will not be meant for ingesting due to the plastic content material. But it saves the beneficiary from having to stroll far to fetch water.

Mpofu defined that Lulalab employs technicians who’re educated to assemble the geyser and its parts – which one other firm manufactures – set up it and keep it each 4 days after set up. The upkeep contains filling the water tank and checking for put on and tear.

So far, there are 70 of those photo voltaic geysers put in in Witsand and 30 at Pella.

Community members are incentivised to gather bottles. “The geyser is made of bottles lying in the streets, creating refuse that would have ended up in the oceans… We are putting our waste back to work,” mentioned Mpofu.

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For each 50 bottles collected, there may be an R100 airtime incentive from Lulalab. Some neighborhood members have resold the airtime, which has served as a supply of earnings for them, she defined.

Mpofu says that for each 100 geysers, three folks might be employed.

If the undertaking can appeal to extra funding, it may be rolled out to extra households, particularly in different communities within the Western Cape and permit alternatives for expertise improvement and job creation for extra youth.

One of the youths which have benefitted from the undertaking is 22-year-old Ngqaza Simamkele. Simamkele advised Fin24 that after finishing a tourism programme at Cape Town College, he nonetheless discovered himself unemployed. However, he had submitted his CV to Lulaway and shortly obtained a name from LulaLab providing him a job with the photo voltaic geyser undertaking.

“What I can say about Lulalab is that it really helped me because I was staying at home, trying to look for a job and now I have something. I learnt a skill… I did tourism, and I knew nothing about geysers,” Simamkele mentioned.

He additionally found a brand new aspect to himself. “Working with the community really helped me to see the other side of me that I didn’t know.”

Simamkele described himself as an introvert. But having to work together with folks to elucidate how the geyser system works, he has additionally needed to change into an issue solver. He hopes to be concerned in additional initiatives like these.

“I learnt something… and I learnt to communicate with the community,” he mentioned.


Ngqaza Simamkele (left) and Nkosikhona Booi (middl

Ngqaza Simamkele (left) and Nkosikhona Booi (center) have learnt new expertise and located employment with Lulalab. Project supervisor Sippy Mpofu (proper) says the hope is to rollout the undertaking to extra communities and create extra jobs.

Fin24 Lameez Omarjee

Twenty-seven-year-old Nkosikhona Booi heard concerning the job alternative at Lulalab from Simamkele.

“I was also not working. He [Simamkele] approached me and told me there is a vacancy somewhere,” Booi mentioned. He defined that he’s now economically empowered to handle himself and his mom, who lives within the Eastern Cape.

He hopes to finish a course in plumbing in future. Learning learn how to work with the pipes has been helpful for him. He can now repair damaged pipes and faucets, and he would not have to rent another person to do it, Booi defined.

Freeman mentioned that the undertaking advantages communities, and their lives, creates jobs, and even cleans up the communities. The hope is to develop the undertaking to extra locations. “Just having 100 is a microcosm of what we potentially can do. We want to ramp it up.”

Mpofu mentioned you will need to acknowledge the partnership with Atlantis Special Economic Zones, the City of Cape Town, and GreenCape, which have supported the undertaking. The leaders within the communities they work with have additionally helped attain neighborhood members to learn from the undertaking. “Their collaboration with us is highly appreciated,” mentioned Mpofu.

The Lulalab Solar Geyser Project was exhibited at this yr’s Enlit Africa convention, held in June, a gathering of vitality business gamers throughout Africa. The Lulalab exhibit was a part of The Green Hub, which showcased inexperienced options throughout the Western Cape.

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