2018-2021: Shaping new solutions

Ethiopia has one of the lowest rates of access to modern energy services, whereby the energy supply is primarily based on biomass. Today only 27 % of the population has access to energy through the electricity grid.

The overall objective of this Alianza Shire`s new action is to improve the living conditions in the host and refugee communities by creating livelihood opportunities, enhance local capacity building and improve access to energy services.

We will improve the delivery of basic services such as healthcare, education, protection or cooking both for host communities and refugees.


We will be connecting the communal services to the grid, the installation of street lighting and solar home systems.

Also, we will enhance the capacity building of local entities, the Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU), the host and refugee communities;

Lastly the project is focused on creating livelihood opportunities that allow host and refugee communities to promote income generating activities, creation of employment and economic development.

Our intervention logic is based on the fact that improved access to energy provides livelihood opportunities, which are an agent for change and can increase self-reliance.

Additionally, improved access to energy will improve basic service delivery which enhances the quality of life in the host and refugee communities.

The geographical scope of the action is in Shire district, Tigray Region. The action involves the host communities living in Embamadre, Maitsebri and Hitsats woredas and the four refugee camps in this area Adi-Harush, Hitsats, Mai-Aini and Shimelba, sheltering a total population of 38,3092 refugees.


2014-2017: The pilot project

The partnership’s first experience took place at Adi-Harush refugee camp in Shire, in the north of Ethiopia from 2014 to 2017.

Energy access-related problems at Adi-Harush were numerous. The electric supply service generated by the electricity grid was extremely irregular and dangerous due to the facilities’ low quality.

In addition, lack of security in the camps together with lack of night lighting added dangers to camp inhabitants, e.g. women and girls in charge of firewood collection for cooking had to walk longer distances over time, being exposed to safety risks and gender-based violence.

Moreover, burning firewood for cooking and diesel for electricity generation (which is also expensive) led to environmental degradation due to deforestation in the surroundings and emission of greenhouse gases.

The project has been focused on the improvement and extension of the electricity grid in this camp and the connection to communal services. These communal services include a primary school, two communal kitchens or markets hosting 36 small businesses and the installation of protection devices and rehabilitation of equipment. Furthermore, 63 LED luminaries have been installed as public street lighting covering over 4km.

The results achieved by this intervention have considerably improved people’s lives and security conditions in the refugee camp, improving the natural environment for coexistence by reducing the collection of firewood and CO2 emissions.

At the same time, in economic terms, it will also mean savings money in diesel consumption.

Refugees’ participation has been crucial throughout the whole process: from training to equipment installation.

With the aim of generating some livelihood opportunities and ensuring sustainability, a group of refugees has been trained to become the technicians in charge of the functioning and maintenance of the infrastructures.

La participación de la población refugiada ha sido crucial durante todo el proyecto, desde los talleres de formación hasta las instalaciones y mejores de la red.

Con el objetivo de generar oportunidades de empleo y garantizar la sostenibilidad de las instalaciones, un grupo de personas ha sido formado para convertirse en el personal técnico a cargo del funcionamiento y mantenimiento de las infraestructuras.

Implementing partner


Collaborating partner


Other collaborators


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Winners of go!ODS 2018 go!ODS 2018


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Humanitarian Energy Award Milan, April 2018


AECID Inglés

The project is co-funded by the European Union through the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID)


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