Solar lanterns to bring clean energy and safety to IDP communities in Mogadishu

11.09.2017 | E28/2017   

Photo: UNDP

Mogadishu, September 11, 2017. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has today handed over 600 solar powered lanterns to Somalia’s Federal Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management. The lanterns will be distributed to female headed households within IDP (internally displaced persons) communities in Mogadishu, as part of a renewable energy project financed by the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).

Solar lanterns can significantly improve safety, especially for women and girls in IDP communities, and provide the opportunity for school children to study after dark. The lanterns are also a clean and safe source of light that can replace potentially hazardous forms of lighting such as candles and kerosene lamps, helping to reduce the risk of fire, and the negative health impacts of burning kerosene indoors.

Each household will receive a pair of lanterns: one which can be used for cooking and charging mobile phones, and to provide safety by lighting the way to toilets and other areas of the camps, and one for the specific purpose of enabling children to study in the evenings.

Mr. Elmi Omar Elmi, Deputy Minister for the Federal Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, thanked OFID and UNDP for their ongoing support as the solar lanterns were handed over. “Internally displaced people need special attention and the support from OFID and UNDP in providing clean energy gives new hope for vulnerable IDP communities in Mogadishu” he said.

Suleiman J. Al-Herbish, Director-General of OFID, reiterated that providing safe sources of energy is vital to increasing the safety and well-being of marginalized communities. “The lanterns will offer people in displaced communities a chance to move forward towards better standards of living, despite the difficulties they continue to face,” he said.

Speaking at the handover, UNDP Somalia Country Director George Conway said UNDP’s energy work is delivered in partnership with the Somali Government and in line with the Government’s National Development Plan.

“UNDP will continue to work closely with both the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation and the Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, as well as with international partners such as OFID, to assist with the delivery of clean and renewable energy across Somalia,” he said.

Led by the Federal Government, the current part of project, funded by an OFID grant, will see six government offices in rural areas receive 1,500 watt solar systems and 50 young people receive training in the installation and maintenance of solar equipment. In August, supported by UNDP and OFID, the government launched a solar power system for the Office of the Prime Minister in Mogadishu, promoting the use of alternative energy and reducing energy consumption by 35 percent at ‘Villa Somalia’.

Media contacts

Hassan Abdirizak Ahmed, Project Officer, Environment and Energy, UNDP Somalia
Mobile Mogadishu: +252 617 387 777
Mobile Nairobi: +254 714425600

Reem Aljarbou, Senior Communication Officer, OFID
Tel.:+431 515 64 291

Notes to editors

  • UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in nearly 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations. More information on UNDP’s work in Somalia, or follow us on Facebook: @undpsom and on Twitter: @UNDPSomalia
  • OFID is the development finance institution established by the Member States of OPEC in 1976 as a channel of aid to developing countries. OFID works in cooperation with developing country partners and the international donor community to stimulate economic growth and alleviate poverty in all disadvantaged regions of the world. It does this by providing financing to build essential infrastructure, strengthen social services delivery and promote productivity, competitiveness and trade. OFID’s work is people-centered, focusing on projects that meet basic needs—such as food, energy, clean water and sanitation, healthcare and education. OFID aims to encourage self-reliance and inspire hope for the future. For more information please visit:
  • Find out more about the launch of solar energy at Villa Somalia.
  • See the Federal Government of Somalia’s National Development Plan
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