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News

Sharing Solar Expertise Brings Safe Water Solutions to East Asia and the Pacific

As we celebrate the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, we are increasingly aware of the power of the sun, the life it brings, and its blessing on the earth. At Water Mission, we strive to be good stewards of creation and its natural resources. In this pursuit, we have tested and innovated new ways to use solar power in pumping safe water to people in need. Now, as a technical expert in this field, we are expanding our reach to share our knowledge with others through Solar Hub support around the world. 

Since 2020, we have partnered with UNICEF to launch the West and Central Africa Regional (WCAR) Solar Hub. Building on lessons learned, we have recently begun a similar collaborative effort to serve countries in the East Asia and Pacific (EAP) region of the world.  

The EAP Solar Hub provides technical support to UNICEF country teams, sector practitioners, and government stakeholders. The objective is to help ensure correct system design and operation and support the promotion of solar-powered systems in the region. 

EAP Solar Hub support managers share their knowledge of design and operational excellence to improve solar-powered system management.

The EAP Solar Hub provides dedicated technical support for the East Asia and Pacific region on all aspects of solar-powered systems. This includes planning, design, and procurement; installation and operation; systems evaluation; and development of capacity-building materials and training. It is free-of-charge, demand-driven support for any organization working on solar systems.

One way the EAP Solar Hub advances the industry is to design and carry out in-person trainings and webinars, with materials and resources based on learning from the region.

The immediate benefits for participants include real-time feedback and troubleshooting on technical challenges. Knowledge sharing through in-depth training with other specialists in their field helps to promote standards and best practices throughout the globe. Both the WCAR Solar Hub and EAP Solar Hub also connect implementers with the solar industry and improve supply chains for sustainability.  

“Water Mission is taking the lead in each of the areas of the EAP Solar Hub,” said Water Mission Engineer Jordan Deshon. “We work closely with UNICEF to ensure that all activities are in alignment with their vision and goals for the EAP Solar Hub.”  

The Solar Hub provides Water Mission with a platform for sharing its experience throughout the region. Participants get opportunities for networking, partnership development, and understanding new markets for solar-powered water systems. The Solar Hub is a public platform where anyone can pose a technical question and join in the discussion; this results in knowledge sharing across the sector. 

“We are leveraging existing resources that were developed for the WCAR Solar Hub and adapting them to the EAP context,” continued Deshon. “There are unique aspects of the EAP region that make it different from WCAR. We are using this first phase of the EAP Solar Hub to learn more about the EAP region and its unique challenges when it comes to solar.”  

EAP countries include Cambodia, China, Indonesia, DPR Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Pacific Islands, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Viet Nam. 

More than 50 participants from various local organizations attended the EAP Solar Hub training in Cambodia and are eager to apply their newly acquired knowledge in practical settings.

We are engaging multiple leaders in the education, health, and WASH sectors. Recently, we conducted a virtual training with 175 participants and in-person trainings in Mongolia and Cambodia for a total of more than 80 participants. Additionally, we regularly receive technical requests from people across the EAP region. There are around 50 organizations, private companies, and government ministries that have engaged with the EAP Solar Hub in one of these ways. 

Globally, operations and maintenance of solar-powered pumping remain major challenges and areas of interest for ensuring sustainability. Water Mission continues to develop course materials and manuals to help address these challenges. With the development of, and continued investment in, the WCAR and EAP Solar Hubs, we hope to collaborate with others to bring an end to the global water crisis. 

Learn more about the global water crisis and how Water Mission team serves our global neighbors by visiting watermission.org/get-involved/ or follow us on social media at @water_mission on Twitter and Instagram or @WaterMissions on Facebook.

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