- ACCIONA Microenergy, the Oaxaca State Government and the Spanish and Mexican cooperation agencies (AECID and AMEXCID, respectively) have joined forces in a ground-breaking initiative to ensure comprehensive access to basic services for households in disadvantaged rural areas in Mexico.
- Electricity will be provided to 1,000 households using third-generation home photovoltaic systems
- A pilot project will be established in at least 50 households to standardise technical solutions and self-sufficient management models that are adapted to the geography, climate and available resources in order to provide access to water, sanitation and cooking.
Through a Public-Private Alliance for Development, implemented under the Mexico-Spain Technical and Scientific Cooperation Fund, the ACCIONA Microenergy Foundation, ACCIONA Microenergy Mexico, the Oaxaca State Government (through SINFRA, its Infrastructure and Sustainable Territorial Planning Secretariat), and the Spanish and Mexican International Development Cooperation agencies (AECID and AMEXCID) have launched the EncASA Oaxaca 2018 project, through which they will provide basic electricity, drinking water, sanitation and safe cookers to rural communities in Oaxaca state (Mexico) where these services did not exist or were not very reliable until now.
The EncASa programme will provide access to electricity for 1,000 households using third-generation home photovoltaic systems under the Luz en Casa Oaxaca programme, which, since 2012, has provided electricity to more than 7,500 households in rural areas in the region that have no prospect of being connected to the electricity grid.
For the other services, the ACCIONA Microenergy Foundation is developing technically and economically sustainable systems that are adapted to the relief, climate and customs of the rural communities in the state of Oaxaca. These models will be first tested in a pilot project that will provide electricity, access to drinking water, sanitation and safe cookers to at least 50 families in towns with less than 500 inhabitants. These services will be provided on an individual or community basis, depending on recipients' needs.
Regarding water and sanitation, the systems will be adapted to local rainfall levels (arid, semiarid or humid) by combining various supply technologies (rainwater harvesting, wells with manual or solar pumps, and natural springs) with filtration or chlorination systems for water purification; the supply will be at community or individual house level, depending on the situation. Regarding sanitation, each household will receive a dry or wet biodigester toilet, depending on the community.
Safe cooking facilities will involve a biomass-fired cooker with an external chimney, which will avoid smoke poisoning and accidental fires, which are among the main causes of female mortality in the region; this approach will also reduce firewood consumption.
The Foundation not only provides a technically sustainable solution but also designs an economic affordability model based on financing users' access to the various facilities (provided by the partners in the Public-Private Alliance for Development) and on payment of affordable maintenance fees.
Additionally, based on the network of Luz en Casa centres created by ACCIONA Microenergy to maintain the home electrical installations in the rural electrification programmes, a local micro-entrepreneurs network will be created and will be advised and trained specifically to take charge of the proper operation of the drinking water, sanitation, cooking and electricity facilities.
There are 1,000 million people in the world today without electricity, 600 million without access to drinking water, 2,000 million people with no sanitation infrastructure, and 3,000 million people using unsafe cooking methods.
This lack of basic services generally causes health problems, such as diarrhoea from drinking contaminated water and respiratory and eye diseases caused by the smoke generated by unsafe lighting and cooking methods. Drinking contaminated water causes almost 2 million deaths by diarrhoeal disease each year. Lighting, heating and cooking by burning materials such as charcoal, animal dung, kerosene or firewood without proper ventilation cause more than 4 million deaths each year.
In the state of Oaxaca, 25% of households do not have proper sanitation facilities, 12.6% have no access to drinking water, 3.1% do not have electricity and more than 40% use firewood or charcoal stoves without a chimney.
By adopting the philosophy of the ACCIONA Microenergy Foundation, the EncASa programme will provide economically, technically and environmentally sustainable basic services at the base of the pyramid.