Uganda’s Bidibidi Refugee Camp to Benefit from IOM and Innovation Norway’s E-Waste Management Project – Uganda

KAMPALA – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and its partners have officially launched a project to transform solar e-waste management in Bidibidi refugee camp located in the North West region of Uganda.

The project, “Greening Humanitarian Responses Through Recovery, Repair, And Recycling of Solar Products in Displacement Settings,” will give new life to disused solar lanterns and their batteries, while creating jobs, supporting livelihoods and providing business opportunities to refugees and host communities. . Bidibidi refugee camp is home to around 270,000 refugees, most of whom fled violence and insecurity in South Sudan.

Ultimately, the project aims to improve environmental sustainability in the colony by minimizing improper disposal of sunscreen products. It also aims to provide evidence to be replicated in other contexts and to expand beyond solar products and other types of e-waste.

The partnership will educate communities on the proper disposal of e-waste and provide solar repair services.

“With innovative approaches focused on reusing usable components from broken solar products, this project will go a long way to reducing e-waste in Bidibidi,” Savage said. “Lessons from this pilot project will influence future interventions that will focus more on the environmental sustainability of solar items,” said Sanusi Tejan Savage, IOM Uganda Chief of Mission.

Solar products and services have been/and are increasingly being provided to refugees as part of efforts to provide them with clean energy through portable and low-cost solutions. E-waste causes air and water pollution, environmental degradation by hazardous metals and other elements, and human health problems, while missing untapped economic opportunities for management. efficient.

The creation of collection and repair centers will not only facilitate access to repair services, but will also create jobs. BRIGHT and TEOSS will train seven technicians in the testing, repair and assembly of lithium-ion batteries.

TEOSS will also install a “Batlab”, a solarized mobile container built on Aceleron’s patented technology. Here, lithium batteries from irreparable solar products will be reassembled into battery packs to power homes, businesses or other facilities.

Peter Batali, executive director of CTEN, noted that many houses in Bidibidi depend on solar energy, but they lack repair services. Instead, he said, some people resort to some of the components like batteries to charge their phone batteries and others keep them under their bed, which puts their health at risk because the products contain dangerous minerals such as cobalt, lithium and manganese. He said an important aspect of the response will be educating communities about the dangers of improper disposal of sunscreen products.

To improve the sustainable supply of solar products, Solvoz will conduct research focused on the solar e-waste value chain. Through workshops with key stakeholders from government, humanitarian agencies and the private sector, Solvoz and IOM will share experiences that will help green humanitarian procurement policies and solutions to the solar e-waste challenge.

The first phase of the project, conducted in 2020, included a needs assessment that analyzed e-waste management conditions in five settlements and refugee camps in Uganda and Kenya, as well as a market dialogue with the private sector. , helping to shape the approaches for the pilot phase in Bidibidi.

The project is funded by Innovation Norway and is carried out by IOM in partnership with BRIGHT Products, Solvoz, Total Energies Offgrid Solar Solutions (TEOSS). At the local level, it is implemented jointly with the Community Technology Empowerment Network (CTEN). IOM received NOK 5,300,000 (approximately EUR 554,600) to fund project costs at different locations, including private sector engagement, innovation and operations.

For further information/media enquiries, please contact IOM Uganda Public Information Officer Richard M Kavuma at [email protected] | cc [email protected] | Tel: +256 312 263 210 | +256 772 709 917

Comments are closed.