15 Baseline Analysis Baseline Analysis 127 Rural electrification intentions

15 baseline analysis baseline analysis 127 rural

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1.5. Baseline Analysis Baseline Analysis 127. Rural electrification intentions have always existed in these participating countries but very few have materialized over the years because of a recurrent conflict environment. This is also due to policy reversals which typically characterize nascent institutions and government bodies operating on a trial and error basis with high turn around for Ministerial posts. The participating countries that are politically stable are aware of their water endowment but do not have the qualified human resources and financial means to develop programs/projects that reduce poverty among the rural communities. The proposed regional micro- hydropower project is expected to provide a basic level of decentralized productive electricity services targeted to rural economies. This would serve as a magnet for investment, growth and migration at an efficient price, affordable by the rural community and that can be financed on a self-liquidating basis with GEF’s catalytic support. 128. Most of the electrification development plans proposed by the governments for East-Central African countries rely on fossil fuel technology to produce electricity, mostly by means of diesel generators. As a result, the baseline assumption is that the majority of rural electrification projects will be based on standalone diesel generators in the absence of any UNDP-GEF intervention. This is particularly true in rural areas that cannot be economically connected to the national grid and where diesel generators represent the simplest solution. In environmental terms, inexistent/poor electricity supply in rural areas also means a continued dependence on traditional biomass fuels such as forests which are consumed at an unsustainable rate. Without UNDP-GEF intervention, GHG gas emission will continue to increase in East-Central African countries, while biomass resources such as forests will decline from excessive harvesting. 129. Given the strong desire of West, Central and East-Central African governments to promote rural electrification as exemplified by their participation in this project and the various energy sector reforms that have been undertaken, the timing is right for the introduction of a Micro/mini hydropower program that can steer Sub-Saharan African countries toward sustainable energy resources to increase access of rural populations to electricity services. 31
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Regional Micro-Hydropower Capacity Development and Investment for Rural Electricity Access in Africa Baseline Situation in Burundi 130. The government is looking to develop a system of local community-based agencies (“régies communales” in French) to manage both water and electricity infrastructure in rural areas. The government has even published a guide advising local governments on setting up and managing local water and electricity agencies (or “authorities”, as a U.S. context). While this approach is encouraging because it empowers local
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