Solar-Powered Pumps Provided Farmers and the People of Yemen with Lasting Impact

" One KG of Potato out of every 4 kilos one buys in Sanaa area would probably be financed by NMF”. He added that “Farmers have been able to save operating costs due to using solar-powered pumps compared to the Diesel-powered pumps. Such savings, thus increased revenues, have allowed farmers to pay-back their loans in one to two years. Given the 10 to 20-year life expectancy of the solar-powered pump, return of investment reaches more than 400% "
Dr. Sharaf Alkibsi, NMY Executive Director of the National Microfinance Foundation of Yemen

Yemen is under crisis. 80% of the 29 million Yemeni need immediate some sort of humanitarian assistance. The country is at the edge of famine. Since the Yemeni Crisis, 85,000 children have died from starvation according to UNICEF. Not only do people die due to lack of food, but also die due to limited access to water. Cholera in Yemen was the worst epidemic since the past century according to UN reports.

The armed conflict, blockades and political instability led to a severe shortage of fuel necessary to pump water needed for drinking and agricultural purposes. Fuel has come prohibitively expensive. Farmers opted to either stop farming which causes additional unemployment and severe poverty in one hand while reducing the availability of agricultural products and increasing its process far beyond what Yemeni citizens can afford.  All exacerbated the famine status among most Yemenis.

National Microfinance Foundation (NMF) of Yemen introduced Solar-powered pumps for farmers spread over 10 Yemeni Governorates as a viable alternative to the current Diesel-powered pumps. The foundation has mobilized the necessary finance for this project via Yemen's Social Fund for Development with funds originally made available by DIFD, USAID, World Bank, GIZ, among others. Through such effective microfinance scheme farmers have been able to purchase solar-powered pumps which led to several outcomes:

  1. Farmers have access to water to irrigate their crops
  2. Jobs are restored as farmers now have water to farm.
  3. Solar is renewable energy that works every day at no additional costs.
  4. Produce is available now at the market with affordable prices
  5. Water is pumped and people have better access to water and hygiene

As of the date of this story, the foundation has financed the purchase of 40 solar-powered pumps shared by over 1,000 farmers. In Yemen, there are almost 100,000 diesel pumps that the NMF plans to outreach and be replaced by 2025.

This document was produced by DARPE www.darpe.me, May 2019. 

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