NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Female refugees residing in Kakuma refugee camp
situated in northwest Kenya are set to benefit from a clean
energy project following the installation of Information,
Communication and Technology (ICT) hub in the area.
Sarah Hare, Senior
Practice Specialist at Crown Agents said the hub that uses solar
system will transform lives of women and children living in
Kakuma refugee camp through provision of clean energy and
sharpening of their digital skills.
“The hub is set to
provide access to energy for computer use, internet, phone and
solar home kit charging, vocational training, life skills and
community cohesion through joint trainings of refugees,” Hare
told Xinhua during an interview on Monday.
She said the
facility will accord refugees and the host population an
opportunity to acquire skills in leather craft, computer
repairs, horticulture, weaving, plumbing, carpentry, mechanic
Energy poverty is a
persistent problem in refugees’ lives since they are isolated
from the national grid and lack reliable access to renewable
The project is also
aimed at replacing the use of fuel wood for cooking that exposes
households to health problems.
Only 2.7 percent of
the population had access to electricity as their main lighting
source in 2015 in Kakuma, a marginalized region that is home to
refugees from neighboring countries including South Sudan,
Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, Ethiopia,
Uganda and Rwanda.
Joe Attwood, Moving
Energy Initiative (MEI) Program Manager said a series of low
carbon and market development activities are being initiated in
Kakuma refugee camp in Turkana County located in northwestern
Attwood noted that
many refugees in the camp do not have any form of lighting at
night as women and girls also face various risks when they leave
camps in search of firewood.
“We want to ensure
that the low carbon and market development projects remain self
sustainable through full involvement of local communities,”
He noted that the
approach further seeks to lessen hostilities between refugees
and the host community due to stiff competition for scarce fuel
that the project intends to dispel a belief that refugees are a
liability to the society they live in.
BBOXX, a partner in
the project plans to establish a distribution outlet for sale of
solar home systems in and outside the camp.
“We have lined up
consumer awareness activities to education refugees and host
communities on the benefits of solar products,” said Pervin
Mariga, the company’s Kenya Retail Manager.
He said the firm has
established solar kiosks outlets where refugees and the hosts
will operate as distributors or technicians of energy products
such as solar home systems, solar lanterns and improved cook
Under the project, a
solar-powered ICT and learning hub is complete and is equipped
with low-energy consuming computers, internet, printers,
photocopiers and stationery.
clinics managed by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) at
the camp are also set to be unveiled.
It will train IRC
staff, as well as 15 skilled and non-skilled people from the
host and refugee communities to support the installation,
operation and maintenance of the solar system at IRC’s two
primary healthcare facilities.
Once complete, the
project is expected to cut IRC’s diesel fuel consumption and
operational costs by 80 percent and save costs amounting to
63,000 U.S. dollars annually.
Some of the
initiatives, including the construction of a solar-powered ICT
and learning hub in the refugee camp, are complete, while the
installation of solar systems on two health facilities within
Kakuma refugee camp is on-going.
The MEI project is
being managed by Energy 4 Impact through a partnership with
Chatham House, Practical Action Consulting, Norwegian Refugee
Council and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
include BBOXX, Kube energy and Crown Agent.