Maltese non-governmental organisations were this morning presented with funds to carry out six projects in Africa to combat climate change.

The funds were presented by Foreign Affairs Minister Tonio Borg and Resources Minister George Pullicino on behalf of the government in line with the Copenhagen Agreement in which developed countries agreed to assist developing countries combat climate change.

The projects target access to water; sanitation; biogas and solar energy. Assistance will also be provided in training programmes related to these projects.

The ministers said the projects would enable poor communities build capacity on climate change issues in fostering and improving the enabling environment support and reduce vulnerability to climate stresses.

Five of these projects incorporate the drilling of bore holes and biogas techniques.

The harvesting of clean water and the drilling of bore holes equipped with electric pumps aim to increase access to potable water and sanitation facilities.

This will help local communities in dire need get access to drinking water and basic sanitation, which will help reduce water-borne diseases, infant mortality and general improvement to the quality of life.

Biogas projects will provide clean fuel for cooking which will reduce indoor air pollution and reduce the time needed for traditional biomass collection, especially for women and children.

Biogas will also be used as organic fertiliser that potentially increases agricultural productivity.

During the process, biomass waste transforms into methane producing renewable energy that can be used for heating, electricity, and many other operations.

Owing to simplicity in implementation and use of cheap raw materials in villages, it is one of the most environmentally sound energy sources for rural needs.

The other project entails the installation of a solar power mini grid which will supply electricity to areas where there is unreliable public electricity supply or no electrical grid transmission lines.

This solar power alternative is necessary in many developing countries, bringing electricity to people living in remote villages and also serves as an independent power supply solution.

These projects, amounting to €300,000, will be carried out in Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania and Ghana. The NGOs benefitting from the funds are KOPIN, Rotary Club Malta, The Ghana Mission Foundation, SOS Malta, Signum Fidei Malta and Mission Fund.

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