Earth Hour 2020: The Value of Electricity
27 Mar 20
This Saturday, people all over the world will switch off their lights to help the planet as a part of the Earth Hour campaign.
But in many countries, energy can be a serious problem.
This is the case in Zimbabwe, where the power stations are unable to produce enough energy for the whole country, leaving many people without adequate energy
Just 40 per cent of people in Zimbabwe have access to electricity, and only 13 per cent of those living in rural areas have electricity.
It is expensive to source alternative sources of energy such as firewood, kerosene, or batteries. In Zimbabwe, the cost of daily necessities including cooking fuel has increased significantly as inflation has risen by over 490 per cent
Caritas Australia, in partnership with Caritas Hwange, Caritas Gokwe and Caritas Gweru, is supporting access to clean and safe water in Zimbabwe through the Integrated Community Development Program.
Solar-powered water pumps have been installed in schools and communities, ensuring access to clean and safe water for drinking and hygiene.
This means that clean water is now on tap for residents. The distance to walk to collect water has been drastically reduced, freeing up time for schoolwork, agriculture and relaxation. The rate of diseases from unclean water has decreased.
Access to solar-powered water also means that communities can create community gardens and fish ponds, creating sustainable and long-term access to fresh vegetables and fish.
This is how transformative solar energy can be in rural communities without regular access to electricity.
This year, at Caritas Australia, we want Australians to think about the value of electricity when they switch off their lights for Earth Hour.
Having access to clean energy can be life-changing. Clean energy brings water to communities in need, it reduces the rates of diseases and it means that diseases can be prevented and treated effectively.
The theme for Earth Hour this year is #SwitchOff and raise your voice for nature.
Make sure to join the rest of Australians switching off their lights for Earth Hour on Saturday March 28 at 8:30pm.
It’s an opportunity to reconnect with the natural environment, and recognise the value of accessible energy for all.
If you’re looking for something to do during Earth Hour, why not try out this board game with the family? It a great opportunity to learn more about the value of electricity.
Jessica Stone is Advocacy Officer at Caritas Australia.