Statement by the UNDP at the Occasion to Inaugurate the UNDP Supported Solar Power Project

17 Sep 2013

Ifakara, Morogoro

Master of Ceremonies,

Senior Goverment Officials,

Church Leaders,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Alberic Kacou and the UNDP Country Director, Philippe Poinsot, I wish to thank you for this opportunity to be a part of this historic occasion to inaugurate the Mbingu Missionary Health Centre. We as UNDP commend the Roman Catholic Church and the Hospital Management for this decision to adopt solar energy which not only promotes the generation of clean energy but will also help stabilize the provision of sound medical services in theatres and labour wards by ensuring that life saving medicines and vaccines remain potent as a result of well powered cold chains.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have learnt that the solar energy, which will be generated by the project, will phase out diesel powered electricity that has been in use up to now as a back-up facility. As you all know, the use of diesel is not only costly but environmentally unfriendly. Statistics show that before this project became operational, the Health Centre used an average of 21,900 litres of diesel every year. This volume of oil emitted carbon dioxide to the level of 48,618 kg per year. Emission of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is one of the principal factors that increases global warming. Scientists believe that temperature raises lead to climate related effects such as variability in precipitation patterns and the frequency of extreme weather events. These induce considerable pressure on livelihoods and economies across the world. Therefore, by switching to solar power, you have helped your community and the world at large to avoid carbon emissions amounting to 48,618 kg per year, which makes a significant contribution to improving the global environment.

UNDP has been supporting this process through a grant of US$ 50,000, which was used to procure solar PV equipment and accessories, installation, commissioning and training for operation and maintenance. Furthermore, support for adoption of solar energy at Mbingu Health Centre is part of a wider support to the Government and people of Tanzania, which UNDP is providing under its energy and climate change portfolio with the view to promoting the paradigm shift towards low-carbon and climate resilient development in Tanzania.

In addition, the United Nations agencies in Tanzania have been supporting implementation of the National Vision of a “Tanzania free of HIV” as agreed in the division of labour between Government, development partners and Delivering as One UN, when addressing the epidemic in a multi-sectoral dimension. In this respect, the UNDP HIV/AIDS project contributes to the broader national HIV/AIDS response towards achieving shared goals of getting to Zero New HIV Infections, Zero AIDS related deaths and Zero Discrimination, under the leadership of Tanzania AIDS Commission and the Zanzibar AIDS Commission.

Master of Ceremonies,

We note with appreciation that this solar power project will make a significant contribution in accelerating achievement of Millennium Development Goals particularly Goal No. 5 which focuses on improving maternal health and Goal No. 6 which focuses on combating HIV and AIDS; malaria and other diseases. As the world is counting fewer than 850 days to the 2015 Millennium Development Goals target date, we wish to call upon the Government, Local Government Authorities, Non State Actors and Development Partners to replicate and scale up solar power projects like this one in remote off-grid locations as a strategy for reducing obnoxious carbon emissions and accelerating achievement of Millennium Development Goals. This is in line with the results of the national consultations for the post 2015 agenda, which calls for integration of energy into post MDG development frameworks in order to stimulate sustainable development through prioritizing increased use of renewable energy, energy access and energy efficiency.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

For my concluding remarks, I wish to once again congratulate the health centre for implementing and completing this solar power project in good time. It is our hope as UNDP that the Health Centre will ensure that the equipment, which was procured for this project is kept in good care and order, so that power supply services will be sustained over the long term in the interests of the people of Tanzania.

 Thank you.