The Moving Energy Initiative held a workshop with sector expert today in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in March, to discuss how the energy needs of refugees and neighbouring communities can be met.
Goudoubo refugee camp hosts over 10,000 refugees. It grew out of political and military unrest that began in Mali in January 2012 and led to a mass exodus of civilians into Burkina Faso. It is situated a few kilometres northwest of the town of Dori, the capital of the Sahel Region. The sudden arrival and settlement of a large number of people has put additional pressure on already limited natural resources in the area, with corresponding negative social, economic and cultural impacts on the local population.
The one day workshop aimed to identify how Burkina Faso can benefit from improved energy access in and around Goudoubo Refugee Camp, as well as identifying how energy interventions can be structured in such a way that they also align with national energy priorities and encourage the growth of local energy markets.
The workshop brought together stakeholders from government, the UN, international and local NGOs, foreign donor countries, and private sector specialists in renewable energy to discuss the challenges to implementing projects at scale and the ways that these challenges can be overcome. The workshop also presented an opportunity to test ideas and to define the parameters for high impact projects for Goudoubo refugee camp and the surrounding areas.
This event came as part of the Moving Energy Initiative – a major partnership between Chatham House, Energy4Impact, Practical Action, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID), the UNHCR and Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) – which is working to change the way that energy is deployed and delivered in situations of human displacement.