Africa is the continent most affected by climate change. Rainy seasons are getting shorter and shorter, while water is becoming increasingly scarcefor domestic consumption and agricultural usage. Resilient and climate-friendly measures are urgently needed.
With this in mind, WE4F, in collaboration with GIZ-implemented Green Citizen Energy (GBE)and with technical assistance from WE4F’s partner Energy 4 Impact (E4I) Benin, decided to provide ongoing training on the Solar Powered Irrigation System (SPIS) Toolkit. The latter is the best practice manual for using solar-poweredirrigation system.
Theoretical and practical training on solar irrigation for Beninese students
A series of training sessions were organised and implemented, with the first taking place from 21 February 21 to April 6, 2022. This session targeted the teaching staff of 4 agricultural technical schools in Benin: the Lycées Techniques Agricoles of Natitingou, Banikoara, Médji de Sékou and Adjahonmè. The improvement of the technical high schools’ training curricula was the first pillar of this project, which, in the long term, aims to provide continuous training on SPIS. Also, introducing new modules on solar irrigation systems improves the high schools’ training.
In order to make the learning experience dynamic, the training was divided in two parts. First, the participants received a theoretical training at their respective schools. Afterwards, they did a field visit for practical training on the SPIS installations and set up. The field visit was done thanks to the cooperation between WE4F and E4I Benin.
“These sessions allowed all the participants to receive very specific knowledge on solar irrigation and to become familiar with the “SPIS toolbox” innovation developed by GIZ through the WE4F programme. At the end of this training, because of the positive feedback from the participants, I remain convinced that the different modules and tools of the solar irrigation toolbox will be of great use to them.’’
Michel Digbeu, Technical Advisor for Energy Topics
Looking to the long-term: Practical learning through an onsite solar powered irrigation system
The project between WE4F, GBE and E4I foresees continuous training on solar powered irrigation systems. To help achieve this outcome, the partners will install solar irrigation systems at each targeted centre to promote practical learning and improve the learners’ scope of experimentation, while facilitating the irrigation and watering of crops on site.
Aside from the technical schools’ students , it is also the teachers’ turn to study again. The project also plans to support trainers’ skills by building the capacity of teachers. At the end of the planned sessions, 60 teachers from the agricultural technical high schools will have their skills reinforced and also will be responsible for passing on their solar irrigation knowledge onto the students who attend their classes.
“I am very happy to have participated in the training on solar irrigation, organised by GIZ. This training has allowed me to gain new knowledge and strengthen my skills in the solar irrigation sector. The training is a great opportunity for me as a teacher in a vocational agricultural high school because the tools and modules developed will be useful in my academic activities.”
Vanessa Zossou, teacher for agricultural development, technical agricultural school of Natitingou
Yannick Aka, West Africa Regional Innovation Hub, Advisor for Communication and M&E
Yannick holds a Master’s degree in English with a major in American Civilization at the University of Bouaké and worked for various NGOs in Côte d’Ivoire. He did also work as a research officer in the Business Environment Department in charge of the implementation of Business Climate Improvement Reforms for Côte d’Ivoire. At WE4F, he is responsible of the monitoring and evaluation and all communication of the West African activites.