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Bioethanol to help refugees and the environment at Kakuma

Kakuma Refugee Camp, By Mr.matija.kovac (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
Kakuma Refugee Camp, By Mr.matija.kovac (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

A partnership between Samsung Electronics and Rural Development Solutions is set to deliver 10,000 bioethanol stoves to households in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya.

Situated on the outskirts of Kakuma town, in north-west Kenya’s Turkana County, the Kakuma refugee camp had a population of 185,154 registered refugees and asylum seekers at the start of 2018, states UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), the UN’s Refugee Agency.

According to a statement, the initiative aims to supply residents of the refugee camp with a ‘cleaner, safer, more sustainable way to cook’. Samsung states that the majority of households in Kenya use charcoal as cooking fuel, a substance which produces toxic fumes and leads to serious air pollution, as well as contributing to excessive harvesting of trees and deforestation.

Haengil Kim, senior vice president and head of Global Environment, Health and Safety Centre at Samsung Electronics, said: “We hope this project helps refugees in Kenya in a meaningful way. Samsung Electronics will continue to carry out its responsibility as a corporate citizen with more such initiatives.”

In November 2017, Samsung Electronics in partnership with Green Development SA, delivered bioethanol stoves to 10,000 households in Mombasa, Kenya, the country’s second largest city. In Kenya, bioethanol sells for approximately 100 Kenyan shillings ($1 or €0.8) per 1 litre bottle. The Samsung statement claims that one bottle would be enough to supply the average household for five or six days.

“These cook stoves will help improve the quality of living for many refugees,” said Burton Wagacha, senior public health officer and technical coordinator at the UNHCR. “We look forward to continue partnering with Samsung in more initiatives.”

Kakuma Refugee Camp, By Mr.matija.kovac (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons