Bringing HomeBiogas to Vulnerable Communities in Jordan
In January 2017, HomeBiogas and Solar CITIES Inc. teamed up to spread biogas to the neighboring country of Jordan. The two sponsored HomeBiogas systems were brought over the border and set up in the Children of the Valley Farm, which works towards peaceful and sustainable development in the region and in the field project farm belonging to the Hashemite Fund for the Badia. These systems are
used by the Bedouins in the region and also by the Syrian refugees in the neighboring Za’atari Refugee Camp.
Why is HomeBiogas needed?
The Za’atari Refugee Camp hosts around 80,000 people who fled Syria in the wake of the bloody civil war. Since the camp is so densely populated and many of the refugees struggle to make livelihoods for themselves, basic human needs, such as access to clean and affordable energy, are not always met. HomeBiogas and Solar Cities Inc. introduced a sustainable solution for the energy poverty camp and the region at large. HomeBiogas is a viable solution because it is dependent only on renewable resources: food/animal waste and the heat of the sun.
Many different humanitarian agencies donate food to the camp, there is not much attention given to how the refugees cook the food they receive.
The Problem With Biomass
The most common fuel type used in refugee camps is biomass (wood, animal dung, crop waste). This means that whoever prepares the food must stand over an open-fire. This is inadvisable for several reasons. First and foremost, cooking on open fires is harmful to human health. The fire emits noxious gases and small particles into the air, which penetrate deep into the lungs and are extremely dangerous. Secondly, those who need to find and collect the biomass (usually woman and children) face disproportionate social hardships. Leaving their residence to find biomass, they are more exposed to threats like sexual harassment and physical danger. Additionally, the necessity of finding and collecting biomass may force children to miss school. Lastly, depleting woods resources for cooking perpetuates deforestation, which contributes gravely to climate change.
HomeBiogas and Solar CITIES Inc. made this cross-border initiative to serve the vulnerable communities of Jordan.
We acted with the firm belief that refugees, along with people who live in remote, off-grid locations, deserve access to clean and healthy cooking conditions. The HomeBiogas system is capable of adapting to their extreme environment and can add tremendous value.