Kolwa is a landlocked community encircled by a ring of mountains with GPS Coordinates 9. 55oN, 11.17oE located in Kaltungo Local Government Area of Gombe State Nigeria.
The Community is approximately one hour away from the heart of Gombe city (off Biliri junction, Gombe/Yola Road) and about 20 minutes away from Kaltungo.
Kolwa has agriculture (grain and livestock) as its prevailing economic drivers.
The community has a total estimated population density of about 200 houses.
The community is serviced by a school, church, artisan wells and mosques as social amenities while lacking portable telecom access.
The predominant means of transportation within the community is by foot or motorbikes.
Very few inhabitants have access to electricity through petrol-powered generators while the rest are at the mercy of kerosene lamps, candle lamps, firewood etc.
The average cost of petrol in Bisanti is N150.00 (72% costlier than open market rate) while the average cost of kerosene is N200 (300% costlier than open market rate).
The major challenge facing economic development in the community is the lack of electricity access for residential and commercial activities most importantly for the processing of agro-produces before taking them to the market.
In July 2015, GVE Projects Ltd in collaboration with the Bank of Industry Nigeria (BOI)/ United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Institute of Electrical Electronics Engineers (IEEE) announced the implementation of a 24kW PV solar-based mini-grid pilot project.
The project was aimed at field-testing the technical and commercial viability of adopting renewable energy for off-grid rural electrification.
Kolwa project the second of the three-phased pilot initiative was commenced in December, 2015.
The project created 60 direct and indirect jobs during the course of implementation while creating an estimated N2.75million ($13,000.00) in wealth in the beneficiary community through construction, survey, labour, and other related expenditures.
The project is estimated to offsets about 365.2 metric tons of CO2 annually in the community thereby preserving the natural environment while enhancing the living standards of the inhabitants.
This project has led to the transfer of knowledge by training locals to oversee the daily operation of the site post-implementation. This has led to the sustainability of the project.
The project currently serves 200 Households (i.e. 1,600people (@ 8 persons per house).
The project with a total cost of $250,000 was financed 90% by the Bank of Industry Nigeria through debt financing and a 10% Grant support from the IEEE.
The initiative has a very sound financial model based on a pay-as-you-go platform and is very reliable yet extremely affordable to low-income rural dwellers.
The project was completed within six (6) Weeks post funds disbursement.
Other project impacts include:
- 15 Nos Street lighting points along the main street of Kolwa Community
- Enhanced security at night
- Extended business operating hours
- Children gather around the street lighting points to study/ play at night.
- Knowledge transfer to locals
- 50% reduction in Energy related expenditure.
- The impacts an additional 200 people indirectly through the street lighting component.