Sustainable energy project longlisted for humanitarian energy award

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Market-based energy access project at Kakuma refugee camp has been longlisted for a prestigious Ashden Award.

Wednesday 14 April, 11 am (EAT), Nairobi, Kenya

SNV, Netherlands Development Organisation, a not-for-profit international development organisation, has been longlisted for the Ashden Award for humanitarian energy. Ashden, a UK charity, has been supporting transformative climate solutions for 20 years. More than 800 organisations applied for the 2021 Ashden Awards, and SNV is one of just 38 to have made it to the longlisting stage. Award winners will be announced this Autumn following rigorous assessment and judging processes involving on-the-ground visits and input from sector experts.

SNV aims to increase access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy technologies and services by supporting the development of sustainable markets. One of the ways in which it is doing that, is through its project work among the refugee and host community living in and around Kakuma refugee camp and Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement who do not have access to energy from the national grid. Cooking and lighting solutions in Kakuma are typically characterised as expensive and inefficient causing adverse effects on health, safety and the environment.

The Energising Development (EnDev) Market Based Energy Access (MBEA) Project – implemented and run by SNV since 2017 – provides clean, safe and affordable cooking and lighting solutions for refugees and the host community through a market-based approach.

The first phase of the project, MBEA I, which ended in 2019, saw approximately 7,000 homes gain access to clean cooking and electricity, while 12 new private sector companies were introduced into the market. Now in its second phase, the project is due to be completed in 2023.

Jeen Kootstra, Country Director for SNV Kenya said, ‘Refugee camps are typically established as a temporary place of shelter until it is safe for refugees to return to their place of origin. However, due to ongoing conflicts, human rights violations and the effects of natural disasters, returning to home countries often becomes unfeasible.’

It is against these developments that the humanitarian sector needs to find innovative approaches to delivering assistance in refugee settlements which also promote self-reliance and decrease dependency on external funding.

Kootstra continued, ‘The MBEA project was designed to drive a paradigm shift from the humanitarian, donation-based approach of meeting refugees’ energy needs. We are delighted that the Ashden awards have recognised this project for its innovative approach.’

Harriet Lamb CEO for Ashden said: ‘In the year that governments, climate innovators and activists gather at the COP26 global climate summit in Glasgow, these inspiring climate champions demonstrate the many solutions that can be replicated at scale and speed.’

‘The Ashden Awards focus on cutting-edge initiatives that are both green and fair – that deliver climate justice, create good jobs, train people in green skills, and cut carbon.

‘This year we have an amazing array of initiatives to choose from and judging is going to be tough! We cannot wait to showcase their outstanding innovations to the world when we announce the winners this autumn.’

Through its awards and ongoing networking and support, Ashden spotlights and supports climate and energy innovators around the world – including businesses, non-profits and public sector organisations delivering proven, ready-to-scale climate solutions.

Notes to Editors

About SNV

SNV is a not-for-profit international development organisation that makes a lasting difference in the lives of people living in poverty by helping them raise incomes and access basic services. We focus on only three sectors and have a long-term, local presence in over 25 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Our team of more than 1,300 staff is the backbone of SNV. Learn more about SNV by visiting our website or following us on Twitter or LinkedIn.

For more information contact Sinead Crane, scrane@snv.org

About Ashden

Ashden’s mission is to accelerate transformative climate solutions and build a more just world. Through awards and programmes, Ashden promotes and supports climate and energy innovators – including businesses, non-profits and public sector organisations. Find out more at https://www.ashden.org/.

About the Ashden Awards

Nine Ashden awards highlighting proven solutions to the climate crisis and energy access challenges will be announced in November 2021. Winners receive a cash prize, development support, and the chance to connect with investors and leading figures in the energy and climate sectors. Since 2001, Ashden has awarded more than 236 ground-breaking organisations.