Our Solar Cooker project in refugee settlements in Chad is currently confronted with the urgent need of expansion of solar cookers, due to the recent refugee crisis in the region. The situation in Chad has taken a distressing turn due to the outbreak of a new conflict in Darfur on April 15th, 2023. This devastating conflict has led to the displacement of over 5 million people, with more than a million who have fled the country. Out of the latter, 400,000 have sought sanctuary in Chad, and there is a growing concern that this number will continue to rise. The province of Wadi Fira, where our currently Solar Cooker projects are located (Touloum and Iridimi), currently supports over 170,000 refugees.
Our work in Chad
Since 2019, FairClimateFund has been providing solar cookers to refugees in the Iridimi and Touloum refugee camps in Chad who have fled from the Darfur conflict in Sudan. The Darfur conflict has been marred by ethnic violence resulting in widespread displacement and suffering among the local population. These refugees are based in camps located in an arid area with limited wood resources around. At the moment, FairClimateFund is serving approximately 10,000 people, nearly equally divided over Iridimi and Touloum camps.
Challenges in the refugee camps
FairClimateFund is collaborating with local organization l’Agence de développement économique et social (ADES) and is supported in this by Hamerkop Climate Impacts. In one of our most recent weekly meetings, it became evident that an additional 14,000 refugees have recently arrived at the Iridimi refugee camp. Additionally, 2,000 refugees have settled in Touloum. In response to this surge in refugee numbers, ADES has redirected its efforts toward constructing housing facilities to accommodate these new arrivals.
The challenges faced by these refugees are compounded by a severe shortage of fuel for cooking and cooking utensils, as highlighted in a UNHCR report from early July. The urgent needs of the refugees are outlined as follows:
Priority needs identified by those interviewed among refugees in Chad were:
Cooking utensils (14%), sleeping equipment (14%), household items (14%), personal hygiene items (13%), building materials (13%), solar lamps/torches (12%), clothes (11%), and wood/gas (10%) are prioritized needs of refugees (UNHCR, 2023).
Our ongoing support
We are deeply concerned about the health and well-being of the people living in the camps. The UNHCR report underscores the significance of addressing the missing cooking essentials. In light of these developments, the project’s mission to provide solar cookers for refugee families in Chad takes on even greater significance and our aim is to expand our project in 2024, by providing more solar cookers to people in Iridimi and Touloum. Hopefully, we can also expand to a new camp. Together with our local partners we will keep monitoring the situation, adapt the project if necessary, and work to provide essential support to the displaced population in Chad.
Would you like to learn more about this project, or are you interested in donating to or investing in the project so that we can give more people in the refugee camps in Chad access to clean cooking in 2024? Reach out to our project manager Evelien: firstname.lastname@example.org