Liberia: NAYMOTE Dedicates Solarized Headquarters

Eddie D. Jarwolo (right), Executive Director at Naymote Partners for Democratic Development, and Johan Romare, Counselor and Head of Development Cooperation at the Embassy of Sweden cut the ribbon at the launch.

The headquarters of Naymote Partners for Democratic Development in King Gray, Paynesville City, is now fully-powered by solar energy, thanks to the support of the government and people of Sweden through its Embassy near Monrovia.

The solar panels, on the roof of the building, generate electricity, which is stored in lithium-ion batteries and supplied throughout Naymote’s building to keep it functioning. It will help to address the power challenge that the organization has been enduring over the years. It will also help to reduce its reliance on the national grid operated by the Liberia Eletricity Corporation (LEC) and the expensive fuel for electricity generation.

This move has not only reduced costs for the organization, but it has also helped to mitigate the impact of its operations on the environment by reducing carbon emissions and air pollution, stakeholders said at the solar panel dedication ceremony on Wednesday, September 13.

Eddie D. Jarwolo, Naymote Executive Director, said the solar panel has provided staff of the organization additional opportunity to work more, serve more, and live and work in a conducive environment.

“This will help alleviate some strains on our budget because we are not going to spend money on generator repair, buying fuel, and changing generator filters,” he said. “So this means a lot to us and we just want to be grateful to the embassy of Sweden for just trusting a local civil society organization like us.”

The solar energy project is not the only initiative that the Swedish government has undertaken for Naymote, as the European nation has been supporting the group for three years.

“They have given us the first big support since we were founded more than twenty years ago. They are supporting our young political leadership school, and our data center and they are also building our financial capacity and that’s what we call real partnership,” Jarwolo said. “For more than twenty years we have not been able to receive up to two hundred thousand dollars from any institution as a grant for operation but the Sweden Embassy has trusted us with more than one million dollars for three years.”

“They give us two brand new jeeps,” Jarwolo added, “We have hired more professional and technical people and now with the Sweden grant we are maintaining staff. So everything in the institution is improving.

He further said that based on the visibility and support from the Sweden Embassy, they are now organizing and coordinating international training.

“So, if more civil society institutions can be supported like this along with the government, we can make our democracy work for the people and we can do a lot for this country,” he said, “Our work now is to deliver, is to make sure that those things that they want us to do, get Liberia to the type of status we want to use our skills or technique, and our experience to get the work done.

Johan Romare, Counselor and Head of Development Cooperation at the Sweden Embassy, said his country strongly believes in a strong civil society as a cornerstone for a sound democracy.

“We have seen the good work of NAYMOTE,” he said, “We are very happy to see how hard you are working and how all the young men and women you have put into leadership positions are contributing to democracy in Liberia.

He added that NAYMOTE will now be self-sufficient in energy with the sunshine that Liberia is blessed with.

“It means you will have no cause for fuel and I think that strengthens NAYMOTE as an organization — your sustainability in terms of electricity, which is fantastic. Liberia is not a country that contributes a lot to the environmental degradation of the world.

He further said Liberia as a country only contributes 0.04% emissions in the world and Africa as a continent contributes 4%.

In addition, Romare noted that with solar, NAYMOTE is reducing carbon emissions and footprint and is also contributing to a world that can prosper not only for them but their children and grandchildren.