In a major breakthrough Jordan has dedicated a massive solar plant inside the Syrian refugee camp, that has the capacity to provide renewable energy to nearly 80,000 refugees, informed the United Nations refugee agency.
This 12.9 megawatts solar plant set-up at Zaatari refugee camp located on the border of Jordan and Syria, is enough to support running of a fridge, fans, television, lights and recharge phones in the refugee shelters. The project is funded by the German government, it is worth US$17.5 million. Zaatari camp would receive electricity for up to 14 hours per day, the agency informed.
Stefano Severe, UNHCR representative in Jordan said, ‘that allows the children to continue their studies, and also for the safety of women and young girls to go about. Camp life will be made much easier.’
The UNHCR said that the solar panels that are 40,000 in numbers would be helpful in reducing carbon emissions by over 13,000 tons annually. Also agency would be saved from spending US$ 5.5 million each year. This amount can be used for making any other investment for the refugee support.
“Electricity is very important to us, it is needed by men, children, women, and everyone needs it during the day. When we have electricity during the day, our children can stay home, they don’t go out in this weather and play in the dust and mud”, said Syrian refugee Anwar Hussein who has lived in Zaatari for nearly five years after fleeing the capital Damascus.
Solar power is used to provide cheap and sustainable energy solutions to tens of thousands of refugees right from Azraq camp in Jordan to Dadaab in Kenya.
In semi-arid region of eastern Kenya, which is Africa’s largest solar-powered borehole is equipped with 278 solar panels that provides 16,000 refugees in Dadaab camp with a daily average of about 280,000 liters of water. This water is used for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene, told the European Commission.
In Azraq, a two-megawatt solar farm that had started functioning from May is the world’s first in a refugee camp that has made possible for the UNHCR to provide free, clean electricity to 20,000 Syrian refugees, also covering the energy requirements of two villages connected to the national grid.