Many people and communities in sub-Saharan Africa have no access to electricity, clean water and adequate food. The RETO-DOSSO project aims at demonstrating that a solar system not only improves water, electricity and food supply, but also strengthens the rural economy and is a worthwhile business model for local investors. Through the project, a pilot solar system will be installed at a village school in Niger in the Dosso region to power a groundwater pump with drinking water treatment, support irrigation and provide electricity to operate village businesses. The project will also set up laboratories for hybrid energy systems and green hydrogen at Abdou Moumouni University of Niamey to encourage and support local research activities in renewable energy.
In addition, recent climate trends and projected climate change in Niger shows an increase in temperature, elevated rates of evaporation and potentially increased rainfall variability. These will in the long run exacerbate the already existing challenges related to floods, droughts, and heat waves. Climate and weather play an important role in planning, designing, operating and maintaining of new developments and infrastructures. Investors, project donors, facility managers and decision makers are increasingly concerned about the resilience of new developments or projects to emerging threats from climate change and extreme weather. However, the information and tools necessary to understand and evaluate the impact of long-term changes in climate and extreme weather for the design, planning and operation of new infrastructure for Niger are generally scarce. Within RETO-DOSSO project, UNU-EHS will lead the assessment of climate change impacts and adaptation measures with the aim of generating scientific and policy-relevant knowledge to inform sustainable design, implementation and adaptation of water, energy, and food (WEF) security interventions under current and future climatic conditions in Niger.
Apart from UNU-EHS, other institutional partners in the RETO-DOSSO project include: Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics of TH Koln which leads the consortium, Center for Development Research of the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University Bonn, Research Center Julich, the Technical University of Munich, the Abdou Moumouni University of Niamey (Niger), the Universite des Sciences et des Technologies de Bamako (Mali) and the Pan African University – Institute for Water and Energy Sciences (Algeria). Industrial partners are Wertsicht GmbH, Yandalux Solar GmbH and Foyer-Tech Pvt. Ltd. (Niger).
The project is funded by the Germany Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) through the CLIENT II “ International Partnerships for Sustainable Innovations” initiative.