Panasonic donates solar lights to kenya village
Dubai, May 18, 2013
Panasonic has donated 2,000 compact solar lights to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Representation in Kenya for use in two refugee camp locations in the country - Dadaab and Kakuma.
A ceremony was held at UNHCR Representation in Japan to mark the donation.
Panasonic started this project in FY2012 with the aim of donating 100,000 solar lanterns to areas without electricity worldwide, as part of its buildup to the company's centennial anniversary in 2018.
The project started out in Myanmar and has made donations in India. This is the first donation in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Kenya is located in the Horn of Africa, having borders with five other countries, and is home to approximately 600,000 refugees. Many of them have been unable to return home for over twenty years, living long-term as refugees in Kenya.
Dadaab refugee camps, neighboring Somalia in the northeast of Kenya, was set up at the beginning of the 1990s, consisting of three camps to host 90,000 refugees from Somalia. The number of refugees has swelled to reach 430,000 currently living in five camps.
Kakuma refugee camp is located near the border with South Sudan in the northwest of Kenya, and was also established in the early 1990s to receive some 20,000 refugees from Sudan.
The number has risen to over 110,000, made up of refugees from fifteen different countries, of which, nearly a half is the Somalis, followed by the South Sudanese, Sudanese and Ethiopians. Both Dadaab and Kakuma have a challenge of shortage of space, adequate shelters, clean water, health facilities and so on due to the increase of the population.
Other challenges include aging public facilities like schools and vocational training centres, and the issue of hygiene standards.
UNHCR Representation in Kenya endeavours to promote legal protection of refugees and provides comprehensive refugee assistance programmes in the areas such as construction and rehabilitation of shelters, schools, health facilities and latrines, management of solid waste, provision of vocational and language training within the very limited budget, working closely with the government and refugee hosting communities and discussing possible extension of the existing camp to secure more space.
These solar lights will be distributed to female headed families with children, people with disabilities, host families that have accepted orphans and a hospital. Having light in the evening will contribute to evening patrols and care for the patients, prevention of security incidents and evening study of children, which could lead to better academic results.-TradeArabia News Service