“Taking Lesotho Beyond National Grid” is the tagline that resonated throughout the entire 2019 sustainable energy exhibition organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Government of Lesotho through the Ministry of Energy and Meteorology and the European Union (EU). The event which attracted 15 exhibitors, was held at ‘Manthabiseng Convention Centre in Maseru, Lesotho.
One of the public viewers Mr Mohapi Letsie said the clean energy technologies that were displayed were very breath taking. “There is nothing more pleasing in life for me to see young people coming up with ideas and implementing new technologies to assist in changing the status quo,” Letsie said adding that he found it helpful for himself to meet with young inventors in person and to have a word with them about their inventions.
Speaking at the event, Minister of Energy and Meteorology, Honorable Tsukutlane Au noted that it is the responsibility of the Government to provide clean affordable energy through his ministry to drive the economy and improve the livelihoods of Basotho. “Lesotho has good renewable energy sources in the form of solar, hydro and wind. We can play a role to increase access to energy for majority of the rural population”, Au said.
The exhibition was meant to raise awareness of the public on affordable, clean energy technologies that are available in the market. The exhibition was also meant to help service providers to come together in one place to show case their innovations. The gathering created awareness amongst senior government officials about the importance of sustainable energy access, making sure they understood that there is an emerging industry on their own door-step which could assist with the task of ‘lighting up the nation’.
The innovators at this event were Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) and academic institutions. They displayed and presented their products, innovations and initiatives related to energy efficiency and renewable energy, to an audience of government officials, community representatives, regulators, financial institutions, NGOs, and the general public at large.
“I find this exhibition very helpful for me as a youth and a scholar because I get to show case my talent and intellectual ability. We don’t often get this kind of opportunity where the minister and other delegates are present and engage with us exhibitors about our inventions”, said an eleven-year old Limpho Poola, a primary pupil from National University of Lesotho International School (NULIS.
Poola invented a ‘lizard solar air heater’. Her idea is to bring solution to warm up houses through solar energy hence saving fuel in winter.Explaining how it works, she
indicated that the roofing of the houses have solar rays that conserve the heat from the sun. So as the air goes into the roofing through the pipe, it fills the vacuum and escapes only through the pipe that goes into the house. When air has entered the roofing, it gets warmed up by the heat from the solar rays, and enters the house thus warming up the house. There are two thermometers that monitors the heat. One monitors the heat from the sun while the other monitors the room temperature.