Rwanda: Gihembe Solar Street Lights Video


Around the world more than a billion people lack access to electricity or other forms of energy for cooking, heating and lighting. For those displaced from their homes access to energy can be particularly difficult. For the past three years, we have been working to bring about a better understanding of energy needs of displaced populations in three refugee camps in Rwanda and with internally displaced communities in Khalte, Nepal. In July 2019, we commissioned the humanitarian photographer Edoardo Santangelo, to video document the impact of the HEED energy interventions on everyday lives. In documenting the impact of the HEED project on refugees in Rwanda and internally displaced people in Nepal, these videos give insight into the relationship between energy poverty and technologies in the displaced context.

About the video

In Gihembe camps the refugees are mainly Congolese, with many having spent their whole lives in Rwanda. In co-designing energy interventions with refugee communities, HEED sought to provide solutions that embedded self-determination and self-reliance into existing and new structures. Working with the community, HEED installed renewable solar  multi-function solar street lighting. These systems were produced so that the interventions could potentially respond to the future needs and aspirations of refugees as well as current demands. By encouraging practices that see greater equity, autonomy and dignity for refugee communities, HEED’s interventions are transformative for some of the residents in the camp.

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