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Publication - Access to Energy for (Micro) Businesses in Kakuma Refugee Camp and Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement

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Title
Access to Energy for (Micro) Businesses in Kakuma Refugee Camp and Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement
Publisher
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Author
Karlijn Groen, Susanne Hounsell, Merijn Havinga, John Muene Njogu (SNV)
Published in
December 2020
Abstract
The survey report presents the findings and provides recommendations on how clean energy suppliers can tap into this market opportunity and enable refugee entrepreneurs to access electricity and clean cooking solutions for their businesses. Survey results show that more than half (54%) of businesses in the camps use electricity for their business operations. 73% would like to obtain (additional) electricity access to have longer opening hours and expand their product and service offering, and 58% of businesses involved in cooking would like to switch to new cookstove types.

Kakuma refugee camp and Kalobeyei integrated settlement host approximately 192,000 refugees. Despite the restrictions for refugees to move around and engage in formal employment, a vibrant informal economy consisting of more than 2,500 (micro) businesses has developed throughout the years. These enterprises provide a variety of products and services including food, electronics, phone charging, tailor, and barber services to the refugee and host communities in the area.

Notwithstanding the economic activity, energy access is a challenge in the camps and is often supplied through expensive and unreliable informal diesel mini-grids and standalone generators. A hybrid solar mini-grid is in place but only connects one of the three villages in Kalobeyei settlement. This lack of sustainable and reliable energy supply constrains the businesses in the camp and settlement to expand their income-generating activities. Also, owners of cooking businesses are at risk due to inefficient and unhealthy cooking practices.
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