Youth embrace sustainable energy

Access to renewable energy and sustainable living is a pressing issue in Namibia
Tunohole Mungoba
The Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) through its Promoting Renewable Energies in Namibia (PREN) project in partnership with the Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust (NaDEET) and National Youth Council of Namibia (NYC) recently held a solar cooking and sustainable living workshop. The workshop took place at the NaDEET Centre in the NamibRand Nature Reserve in the Namib Desert.

The main objective of the workshop was to transfer practical knowledge on solar cooking and sustainable living by using experimental learning methods.

The workshop was attended by 35 people, which included 28 young people from all over the country who had a keen interest in solar cooking, renewable energy, climate change and sustainable living.

Participants included young people from Namibia and also internationally.

According to Rodney Seibeb, the project coordinator of the HSF PREN project, the 28 participants were chosen from different regions of the country and were selected based on their motivation letters and they all have different backgrounds. This was done in order to have a diverse group that consists of students, unemployed young people and those who had just left school.

The director and co-founder of NaDEET Centre, Viktoria Keding told the participants that, after leaving the workshop they will be able to solar cook and live in a sustainable manner.

“We started NaDEET with the purpose of having environmental education truly being environmental – we practice what we preach”, said Mrs Keding. She further stated that everything at NaDEET is not perfect, but it is a work in progress that is based on the “we practice what we teach” philosophy. NaDEET Centre tries to make environmental education as practical as possible and has incorporated these teachings into their daily lives, making it an amazing experience for its participants.

Suzette Rooi, a Chef from Koes in //Kharas region said that she has learnt a lot about solar cooking. She further said that “solar equipment is cheap and effective and I will integrate solar cooking in my catering business”.

A student from Windhoek Vocational Training Centre (WVTC), Emilia Nangolo and also a solar cooking and sustainable living workshop participant said that, “It was actually nice being at the Namib desert since it’s my first time being here”,

With the capital city facing water challenges, one of the centre’s main targets is to educate participants on how to survive on minimal water. Bucket showers, tippy taps and dry toilets are some of the methods the Centre has adopted in order to use less water than you would use with the normal bathroom set-up.

NaDEET has been operational for 15 years and wishes to continue its quest in educating school children, young people and the community at large on how to be energy efficient; save water; manage waste without polluting the environment and how to live a sustainable lifestyle.

Seibeb stated that the workshop was a success as the objectives of the workshop were met. He further said that there is a possibility that similar workshops will be planned for youth at the NaDEET Centre next year.