Sustainability and Extractives CONDUCIVE POLICIES AND STRATEGIES FOR SUSTAINABLE ENERGY PROVISION IN RURAL COMMUNITIES IN ZIMBABWE Author: Blessing Matasva ABSTRACT Rural communities are deprived of clean and affordable energy. Rural; communities face a myriad of challenges in accessing clean energy. Whilst the global urban is enjoying energy provision and even moving to more climate friendly energy sources, the global rural is still stuck in the traditional energy options which, in the wake of population growth and the advent of climate change, are no longer sustainable. Poor energy provision is even more severe in the developing world in regions like Sub Saharan Africa. Given that an average of over 60% of Sub Saharan Africa population lives in the rural space, provision of clean and affordable energy to these communities should become a priority. The rural communities in Zimbabwe face similar problems. Arguments have been made on the causes of the disparities between urban and rural energy provision and supply, and whilst it is admittedly an interplay of factors, lack of integrated policies and strategies at national level has affected access by rural population to adequate supply of clean and affordable energy. There is need to provide rural communities with affordable technology and innovation like waste to energy, invasive species to energy and biogas production to bring energy to these underprivileged societies. There has been an increasing consensus among scholars that the poor people are more vulnerable to climate change effects. The poor people often look up to the common property resources and the easily accessible resources for their livelihoods. When such resources are exhausted, these underprivileged groups face challenges and the environment also suffers. Limited energy sources has been a challenge rural dwellers have been grappling with for decades not only in the developing world but particularly in sub Saharan Africa and Zimbabwe. With the country witnessing significant population growth in the rural areas, it is essential to find ways to find clean and sustainable energy sources The paper discusses some of the policies and strategies Zimbabwe can amend, develop and enact to reduce Zimbabwe’s carbon footprint as well as providing clean energy in a dual fight against climate change and poverty.
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