THE WOMEN EMPOWERMENT ROLE OF MODERN ENERGY
When women are overloaded with tasks, they are deprived of the energy and time that is often needed for the empowerment of women. CARE recognised that access to modern energy can play a potentially women empowerment role as, for example, improved energy efficient stoves could save about 30 hours per week: time that could be used for income-generating activities, participation in meetings, and engagement in community decision-making. CARE joined our Access to Modern Energy accelerator programme in the hope of finding partners that could help them to provide the best and sustainable technical solution available at the place, CARE is working on overcoming barriers such as social norms and economic accessibility.
THE RIGHT LOCAL SOLUTION PARTNER
CARE found a partner in Satlatena, a Nigerian company that provides Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) gas, a cleaner and cheaper alternative than, for example, the burning of firewood and coal. Angelika Kessler, West Africa Program Officer at CARE: “Ebele Sophia Imite-Uka from Satlatena was very good for us. She took initiative and this really brought us to where we wanted to be.” Satlatena was the right solution partner for CARE as they are also focused on the empowerment of women through the delivery of LPG gas. In addition to that, they also provide training on the use and management of LPG to rural and peri-urban communities.
INTERVIEWS AND PERFORMANCE TESTS
CARE and Satlatena will focus initially on the Nguru Local Government Area in Yobe State, in north-eastern Nigeria. For their user test in the ‘get’ stage, they conducted 10 interviews with households, and plan one interview with the governor of Nguru, and to set up performance tests for IDP and host community households in which they will demonstrate the LPG cooking solution. Angelika Kessler: “We are getting assistance from a colleague of mine at CARE who is specialised in Nigeria. She has contacts with the governor and others in this area. Using LPG for these purposes is part of the energy policy in Nigeria and, therefore, we should be in line with the domestic politics.”
BETTER ENERGY FOR BETTER SAFETY
Besides the idea of reducing the time that women spend in kitchens, the use of LPG will also have other benefits for women in the long-term. Angelika Kessler: “It can also help in combatting gender-based violence as women don’t have to go the forest anymore and it can help women manage their time in a better way, allowing them to participate on community activities and decisions as well as to stay at places where they feel safe. It can also have an impact on the reducing of gender-based violence for IDPs and refugees in the camps.”
MAPPING OUT ENERGY INTERNALLY
Participating in this Access to Modern Energy Programme has been helpful for CARE. “We were encouraged to map the energy projects and activities in every country in West Africa, where CARE intervenes. I haven’t mapped out everything yet, but in each country we have at least one project. We will work on a CARE internal network and try to identify more local partners. 20 hours saved per women is a huge amount of time for one country even if we only get 50 percent of the women into the energy transition.”
COORDINATING TOWARDS MODERN ENERGY
While other participants in the Humanitarian Accelerator Programme were mostly focused on outward solutions, Angelika Kessler also identified a lot of ongoing pilots. Therefore, alignment and coordination will show the importance of access to modern energy for many women in projects of CARE. “I can demonstrate already to CARE internally and externally that energy should be a priority for women economic empowerment. When we are discussing innovation on, for example, time-saving and the work overload for women, then energy efficiency immediately becomes an obvious topic. I think it is helpful to oblige those who are working in the humanitarian organisation to work together with those who are working on renewable energy. In that way, I am working on sensitisation of my environment on the importance of energy and the opportunities it brings.”
Innovation steps towards impact
Wasting less time
How can we provide the best and sustainable technical solution available locally to empower women by wasting less time in the kitchen through the implementation of cheaper and more time and energy efficient cooking stoves? CARE is working on overcoming barriers such as social norms and economic accessibility.
CARE found a partner in Satlatena, a Nigerian company that provides LPG gas: a more time efficient, cleaner and cheaper alternative than, for example, the burning of firewood and coal.
Satlatena also provides training on the use and management of LPG.
CARE and Satlatena will focus initially on the Nguru Local Government Area in Yobe State, in north-eastern Nigeria. For their user test in the ‘get’ stage, they are planning to conducted 10 interviews with households, and plan one interview with the governor of Nguru, and to set up performance tests.
CARE has a lot of ongoing pilots. Therefore, alignment and coordination will show the importance of access to modern energy for many women in projects of CARE. “I can demonstrate already to CARE internally and externally that energy should be a priority for women economic empowerment.”
Movement for modern energy in humanitarian settings
Read the challenges of the Humanitarian Organisations involved in the Accelerator Programme. Would you like to share your energy stories, challenge or solutions? Submit it to our demand and supply platform, Source2Gather. Or join us at the upcoming Energy and Innovation Summit on 13 April 2021. We’re committed to matching today’s challenges with tomorrow’s solutions.
Access To Modern Energy Programme
The AME programme is about doing new things to solve problems and improve the quality of renewable energy access in humanitarian programmes around the world. Access to Modern Energy is increasingly recognized as an area of humanitarian concern. If communities affected by crises go without proper access to energy, it becomes impossible for them to meet the basic needs of life. The programme enables humanitarian organisations to be the catalysts for tackling specific energy challenges, whilst opening themselves up to receiving the knowledge and business insights from energy experts and private-sector partnerships. Ultimately, the projects will provide local insights for humanitarian partnerships to enable cost efficiency and improve quality of humanitarian work. DCHI brings together humanitarian organisations, research and educational institutes, businesses of all sizes and governmental actors. The coalition enables them to jointly find, develop and scale innovative solutions.
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