Surrounded by countries with a more than tense context, Cameroon hosts more than 260,000 refugees from Nigeria and 85,000 from the Central African Republic, thus affecting its natural resources. On the border with the Central African Republic, “Solidarités International” focused on the conditions of refugees from Gado near the communes of Garoua Boulaï and Ndokayo. Their arrival increases the pressure on resources, leading to some tensions between refugees and host communities.
In eastern Cameroon, tens of thousands of people are fleeing the war that has been raging in the Central African Republic for several years. In the Gado camp, 25,000 refugees are living, trying to forget the horror of war. To meet the basic needs of the camp’s inhabitants, the NGO is developing the sustainability of water access and sanitation infrastructure. It lights the refugee camp with robust and powerful solar streetlights to improve the safety of the inhabitants.
However, despite all the valuable help of twelve associations, safety problems remain. Thus, Solidarité International teams are deploying Sunna Design’s autonomous solar photovoltaic streetlights to secure the two villages and the Gado refugee camp.
ECHO (European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations) financed this solar lighting installation.
Several strategic areas have been chosen by the NGO Solidarités International to develop a better life together. The association has launched a vast lighting plan in the living areas of the camp.
Lighting high-traffic sites such as main roads and crossroads, the village market square, village and camp health centers, or health facilities offer a little dignity to the inhabitants.
Also, the installation of a networked lighting circuit is impossible in this vast and disconnected region. The financial costs for such investments are illusory. The use of renewable energies and particularly solar energy for refugee camps, is a more than credible alternative.
Naturally, the NGO chose to use solar energy to illuminate the Gado refugee camp. It issued a call for tenders to provide and install autonomous lighting for the areas concerned.
The quality of solar lighting solutions and the respect of the budget make it possible to ensure the sustainability of infrastructures. For the technical part, the specifications provided for various points:
– Lighting performance;
– Availability of lighting all year round even after the rainy season when sunlight is limited;
– The adaptability of the model according to the application;
– Low maintenance for the next ten years.
The response to Sunna Design’s call for tenders presented all the aspects desired by “Solidarités International” and UNHCR.
An in-depth technical study made it possible to find the most appropriate models to meet the demand while remaining within the planned budget. The NGO’s technicians selected the iSSL+ solar street lamp with a road optics to illuminate the axes as well asiSSL Maxi4 with a wide optics to cover broader and more extensive areas.
To simulate the operation of these two models of solar lighting solutions in the Gado region, Sunna Design designed an autonomy study taking into account the sunshine data from the last ten years. Our solar lighting solutions work correctly in the areas selected by Solidarités International.
Our local partner HELIOS ENERGY installed the products and trained the local population in how our solutions work. A hundred light points were deployed in record time thanks to the simplicity of the products!
The deployment of our solar lighting solutions has a direct impact on the entire refugee camp and the two villages. From now on, more than 30,000 people have access to public lighting in the vital areas where people pass through, meet and exchange.
Insecurity has been drastically reduced, particularly in the fight against sexual violence. Moreover, from a socio-economic point of view, the project’s actors support food and vegetable producers, 70 village savings and credit associations have been created. A market has been rehabilitated, etc.
Bringing humanity to the refugee camps is important to Sunna Design.
Living conditions have been improved to the delight of the host villages and refugees.
The President of the Central Committee of the refugee camp testifies: “For a long time in this site, we had to denounce the problems of the darkness linked to the lack of electrical energy in the locality. With the presence of solar streetlights, our children have the opportunity to revise the lessons in the evening; traders sell their goods until late at night, the problem of insecurity is reduced to a minimum, especially towards women. In short, the site has a new face, and from an aesthetic point of view, the streetlights beautify the camp and illuminate the lives of the refugees”.
We are proud to humbly bring some light into the hearts of the people of the Gado camp.
Solidarités International & UNHCR
iSSL +, iSSL Maxi 4
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