A follow-up workshop was held following the UEM Climate Change & One for the Climate Workshops, which took place in Kigali in the year 2016. All UEM member Churches in Tanzania, DR Congo and Rwanda participated. The report of the “Feasibility Study on Options of Using and Financing Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Church Buildings in Tanzania and Rwanda” was presented and intensively discussed. Participants worked further on the proposed projects and action plans for the project implementation.
“God has entrusted us to use creatively the creation and honour His magnificent name on the entire world” underlines the UEM General Secretary, the Rev Volker Martin Dally. UEM is appreciated and commended for the work and accompaniment to member Churches in addressing the climate change challenges. The conference highlighted that it is necessary to start as soon as possible with pilot projects. It further recommends that the preparations of documents such as Memorandum of Understandings, Business Plans etc. should possibly be concluded towards the end of year 2017, so that the implementation phase of proposed pilot projects could start early 2018.
UEM member churches decided to embark on the implementation of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in protecting the environment and fighting the climate change which is affecting African communities. Projects will be implemented by mobilizing the community and Church institutions to apply renewable energy efficiency projects.
The following institutions will be involved:
The construction and use of a photovoltaic power plant in church schools, universities, hospitals and guest houses for self-consumption is viable. Churches will become owner of the solar power plant. It is also proposed to start with church pilot projects with small Solar Home Systems (SHS), a minimum of 1.000 SHS per church, whereby the owners will pay for the installations and related work.
Churches as well as ONE FOR THE CLIMATE expressed their willingness to facilitate and develop the proposed projects. The conference supports the proposal and recommends the stakeholders to start negotiations to come up with Memorandum of Understanding and Business Plan. UEM will continue to be asked to play a facilitation role, using the expertise offered in the past in the area of environment protection and fighting the climate change.
A continued awareness raising in all UEM churches is needed:
The conference highlighted the need to continue awareness creation for the head of Church institutions, especially in countries which were not covered by the feasibility study. The UEM JPIC and African Departments have planned a number of workshops and seminars for this purpose in the year 2018.
Rev Dr John Wesley Kabango, UEM Executive Secretary Africa Region