900 solar lanterns to light up conflict-affected communities in North-East Nigeria

Jan 30, 2018

An internally displaced woman sits outside her makeshift home in Bama, Borno State (Photo, UNDP Nigeria/Lucky Musonda)

UNDP Nigeria is partnering with Panasonic, a Japanese company in providing alternative source light energy for conflict-affected communities in North-East Nigeria. The Japanese company has donated 900 solar lanterns which will be distributed to communities that suffered the most damage to power infrastructure in the region – the donation is being done through a UNDP project funded by the Government of Japan.

The donation will be done as a part of “100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project” which the company has been conducting since 2018; the year in which it celebrated its 100th anniversary. Under this project, the company donates a total of 100 thousand lanterns to improve and enhance the quality of life in emerging economies and developing countries, where access to electricity remains a major hindrance to development.

Access to power in North-East Nigeria remains low - in 2013, the year before the worst period of Boko Haram insurgency, the share of population with access to electricity in the three most affected States stood at 37.6%, 33%, and 18.1% in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe respectively. In Borno State alone, around 700 power distribution substations have been destroyed during the insurgency. More than 1.7 million people remain displaced, with some in Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps while majority are hosted in communities - many people continue to depend on humanitarian aid for survival.

The 900 solar lanterns will be distributed to households of IDPs and returnees without access to electricity or other sources of electricity in the three States. Priority will be given to female-headed-households as they are the most vulnerable. Access to electricity facilitates engagement of communities in productive activities; it enables traders to conduct businesses and school going children to study when the sun goes down and improves security within surroundings.

UNDP has expanded its early recovery work in the region to address the underlying causes of the conflict, protect development gains and help vulnerable people avoid becoming dependent on aid. With support from Governments of Japan, Norway and Switzerland and in partnership with international aid organisations and local authorities, UNDP is rolling out a series of interventions aimed strengthening community resilience by addressing the socio-economic and security-related challenges being faced by both the internally displaced people and host communities. Ongoing interventions include livelihood support, skills training, rebuilding and rehabilitation of key public infrastructure and strengthening local governance structures.

Communication Specialist

Lucky Musonda

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