Recycling of solar waste in refugee settings

 IOM
IOM

Over the past years, solar solutions like lanterns and other off-grid solar products have been distributed to people affected by crises by humanitarian organisations. But what happens to the products when they break down or come to their end of life? IOM will partner with the private sector to come up with a solution.

What is the humanitarian challenge?

In camp settings off-grid solar products have been increasingly provided to refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). Off-grid solar products (like all things) break down or come to their end-of-life. Unfortunately, the most common disposal methods in East Africa is burial, burning, latrine disposal and open landfill, which are also the most damaging for the health of communities and local environment.

 

What is innovative about this project?

This project is the first attempt to look exclusively at the issue of solar waste in displacement settings. This project aims to find a cost-effective solution to repair, reuse and recycle solar lanterns and solar home systems and their accessories that have been distributed in IDP and refugee camps in East Africa and put in place activities that create jobs, support livelihoods and provide business opportunities. 

 

What are the expected outcomes?

The project aims to develop systems for reusing, repairing and recycling of solar products. The project will also produce and share learnings around the unique factors affecting electronic repair and e-waste management in displacement settings in order to help ‘green’ existing humanitarian operations in other places.  The findings will also act as a proof of concept for a longer-term, potentially commercial operation.

Conditions in at least 5 camps in Kenya and Uganda will be assessed during the early implementation of the project, in order to select 1 or 2 as final project location.