EU Delegation visits mini-grid site in N’Tjiba, Mali

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Mali 2017/07/13

13 July 2017

As part of the Climate Action Week in Mali, an EU delegation visited the 50 KWp hybrid mini-grid in N’Tjiba. The mini-grid was facilitated by EnDev to deliver electricity access to the rural village.

The president of operator ACCESS, Ibrahim Togola, gives information on the installed solar panels to the EU delegation

GIZ Aukje de Jager Mali EU delegation visit guided tour at mini grid site.JPG The president of operator ACCESS, Ibrahim Togola, gives information on the installed solar panels to the EU delegation

29 June 2017. Located 90 km off the capital of Mali, Bamako, the road to the commune of N’Tjiba is largely unpaved. It was the beginning of the rainy season, which is why it took the EU delegation and representatives of five different European countries about two and a half hours to arrive at site. In Faladié, the chief village of N’Tjiba, they were warmly welcomed by community representatives and more than fifty traditionally dressed hunters. About 40 government representatives and at least 500 villagers joined the event that took place as part of the EU Climate Action Week with the theme ‘Assist the climate, protect the forest and choose renewable energies’.

The EU stressed the importance of energy produced through renewable resources

The village representatives compared the mini-grid with a calabash of water; EnDev helped raise it on the head and the community continues carrying it.
The mayor, Sékou Diallo, receives the EU delegation with a warm welcome and elaborates on the benefits of the sustainable electricity access for his community.
The mayor, Mr. Sékou Diallo, stressed the importance of the electricity delivered by the mini-grid by emphasising the increased revenues of the citizens, increased safety during the night (as less cattle was stolen) and increased comfort. He expressed hope to continue this level of access to electricity to serve others in the commune. The Chief of Cooperation of the EU to Mali, Mrs. Cécile Tassin-Pelzer, emphasised the importance of energy produced through renewable resources. A subject that was later on continued during the visit of the production site with the solar panels and generator, the battery park, the control room, and several clients.

The citizens appreciate their energy access and use it for generating income

The Chief of Cooperation of the EU to Mali, Cécile Tassin-Pelzer, answers questions of local journalists.
The electricity tariffs of mini-grids is a hot topic in Mali, which was also extensively discussed during the development of the mini-grid. Even though in N’Tjiba clients pay fees that are higher than those of the subsidised national network, it is much more economical than the alternative of generators and individual installations in this context. The mini-grid made productive use flourish in the village where nearly all clients – including households – have developed income-generating activities, especially by the use of refrigerators for ice, drinks and the conservation of dairy products, fish and meat. The next step for further development is to enable the access to energy-efficient appliances – not just in N’Tjiba but throughout Mali.

N’Tjiba: a good example for renewable energy serving the community and the climate

The 500 chairs in the shade of a tent were quickly taken; many more citizens of the village attended the welcome event.
The visit in N’Tjiba continued with the plantation of sixty trees to celebrate sixty years of EU and to initiate the community reforestation plans. A lunch for all concluded the visit. It was a remarkable day from more than one perspective: the attention for climate, impact of electricity and renewable energies but also the engagement of the community, the appreciation for the intervention, and the warm welcome to visitors that Mali is known for.

The EnDev Mali team warmly thanks the commune of N’Tjiba for the organisation and the EU for taking the road.