Kenyan green energy entrepreneurs are being sought in a Sh26 million green energy challenge to provide renewable and affordable energy solutions for the displaced and vulnerable people.
The Moving Energy Initiative (MEI) is targeting to provide solutions for lighting, cooking and heating among displaced communities.
Chatham House is working with the UK Department for International Development (DFID), Energy 4 Impact, and a consortium of other expert organizations, on a ground-breaking new project which seeks to meet the energy needs of refugees and internally displaced persons.
The idea should be such that it reduces costs, is safe, healthy and respectful; that also benefits host countries and communities; and where possible creates opportunities for income generation and knowledge transfer to tackle energy poverty and sustainability.
“Current energy practices in refugee camps are often dirty, polluting and damaging to the surrounding environment,” says the NGOs behind the drive.
Huge emissions savings are possible through small changes, and fundamental reform of the energy environment in camps can unlock a range of additional environmental benefits.
There is an increased interest is pursuit of solutions among entrepreneurs especially African startups inorder to solve local problems.
This has seen an increase in competitions funded by various organisations in and outside Africa in such of solutions to drought, unemployment and several other issues.
Powered by diesel
Within refugee camps, facilities such as schools and healthcare centers are often powered by diesel generators, while wood is used for cooking, and kerosene or torches for lighting, reports the Energy for the Displaced People on its website.
Among the major initiatives being done to provide green power in rural Kenya include solar power cells, mini grids, energy saving jikos and many others but lack of financing has made some of them unable to go beyond the startup level.
Entrepreneurs have been unable to get the funding to scale and actualise the ideas and make an impact due to lack of sufficient funding.