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.