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HomeEnvironmentGovt, USAID ink $25M ‘Alternative to Charcoal’ project deal.

Govt, USAID ink $25M ‘Alternative to Charcoal’ project deal.

By JAMES KUNDA

THE Government through the Ministry of Energy has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on a project called Alternative to Charcoal (A2C).

The five-year project involving US$25million aims to reduce deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions by reducing charcoal consumption and promoting use of alternative technologies and fuels to charcoal.

USAID/Zambia economic development office director Adam Norikane said Zambia had one of the highest deforestation rates in the world, with food fuel being the main energy source and contributing approximately 70 per cent of the country’s energy consumption.

“This project being implemented by Tetra Tech, ARD, is the culminations of engagement with stakeholders including the ministry of energy, ministry of lands, Zambia Environmental Management Agency, forestry department and the climate change department,  “ Mr Norikane said.

He said this in a speech read for him by USAID-Zambia deputy director in the office for economic development and environment Shawna Hirsch during the MOU signing and simultaneous launch of he energy sector advisory group (ESAG) .

Mr Norikane said the MOU outlined the projects that would be jointly implemented to reduce charcoal consumption and deforestation and increase access to clean energy sources.

At the same occasion, Energy Permanent Secretary Francesca Zyambo said ESAG would serve as a platform to enhance sector coordination and offer stakeholders an opportunity to advise Government on the key energy policy issues.

Ms Zyambo said the A2C project was timely in the identification of alternatives to reduce the high deforestation levels and degradation that the country was currently facing.

According to the ESAG reference terms, the committee was formed under the ministry of energy and would operate on a mandate to encourage harmony between all economic sectors on energy policy and provide an informed opinion on energy matters to policy makers.

Source: Times of Zambia

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