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Interview with Daisydaria Michelo from the Renewable Energy Programme 2

On behalf of Sida, LIFE Academy has been implementing a Global Capacity Development Programme on Renewable Energy, targeting Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The last programme was completed earlier this year out of the four programme cohorts between 2018-2024. We have interviewed four of the programme participants to learn more about the participant’s experience of the programme. Here is the last interview with Daisydaria Michelo from the Renewable Energy Programme (REP) 2.

Name: Daisydaria Muleya Michelo
Country: Zambia
Position: Founder and Director
Organisation: Desire Energy Solutions
Position and Organisation during the programme: Chief Engineer at Zesco Ltd., Demand Side Management
Programme: REP 2

The Change Project for the Zambia Team of REP 2 was about energy efficiency, particularly in the residential area. Daisydaria Michelo explains that they picked the residentials because in numbers they are the majority of the customers for the utility and there has previously been a lot of focus on the industrial, larger customers, when it comes to energy efficiency. Daisydaria highlights in the interview that the knowledge on energy efficiency from the programme and their Change Project has really changed her perspective and helped her in her career.

“It is knowledge that I use on a day-to-day basis. Whether I am just advising a customer or having a casual talk with my peers, and they are complaining about the bill, I am always talking about how they can save energy.”

– Says Daisydaria Michelo
Daisydaria Michelo.

This also goes hand in hand with what Daisydaria believes is meaning of being a Change Agent, to spread the word in an organisation or on a personal level. For her personally it means to start saving energy at home and embracing the renewable sources of energy and spread the word to people that can hear and she believes that it is making an impact.

“We learnt enough in the project that just behavioural change can reduce the consumption by 30%. So, when you spread the word in organisations and homes, among peers, we help to conserve this energy and the cleaner we get in our sources of energy we are helping mother earth in preserving its beauty and its natural state.”

– Says Daisydaria

Daisydaria also describes that on a personal level, being part of the programme gave her a “can do” kind of thinking. She gives an example of an off-grid project that she was a part of after the programme where they used solar power for water pumps, something she would not have thought of before the programme. Daisydaria says that this place is now running purely on renewable energy and the reason for that is her new knowledge – that it was possible to do it.

Speaking of a “can do”-effect, Daisydaria concludes the interview saying that something that also motivated and encouraged her during the programme was the choice of having many women being the facilitators and giving lectures.

“I think it was quite a large number of women that are experts in their field and that really motivated me personally (…) that careful selection, and I know it was a careful selection of those people, really did inspire me as a woman engineer.”

– Says Daisydaria