As part of a partnership with the Anglo-Dutch oil company Shell, the humanitarian organization Mercy Corps has recently launched a call for proposals aimed at selecting a company to build solar-powered mini-grids for three Somali refugee camps around Jijiga in the Somali region of Ethiopia. Interested companies have until August 5, 2020 to apply.
Securing electricity supply in the refugee camps, is the objective of the Enter Energy project being implemented by the non-governmental organization (NGO) Mercy Corps in partnership with the Anglo-Dutch oil company Shell. The project is being implemented in the refugee camps of Kebribeyah, Aw Barre and Sheder around the town of Jijiga in the Somali region of eastern Ethiopia.
As part of this project, Mercy Corps is inviting bids for the selection of a company to support the project, mainly through the construction of several mini-solar grids. “The power supply for infrastructure in emergency situations, or for clinics, offices, communication towers, water pumping stations and other necessary services, is usually provided by diesel generators. This places a considerable economic burden on humanitarian agencies and on businesses and households in refugee camps and host communities,” says the Portland, U.S.-based humanitarian organization.
Providing clean energy for refugees and host communities
Off-grid vendors interested in the Mercy Corps project must apply by August 5, 2020. The successful company will be required to conduct (additional) feasibility studies, as well as design, build and operate the solar mini grids. “The implementation phase of the project in the Jijiga area depends on the results of the binding proposal phase with the selected partner and the availability of funds,” said Mercy Corps.
A year ago, the NGO commissioned a technical study of electricity loads and cooking patterns in the refugee camps around Jijiga to gain a detailed understanding of the existing energy demand and supply options. Another study this time on legal, regulatory and operational aspects for the operation of off-grid energy services is still ongoing.
Jean Marie Takouleu