Spotlight on our Clean Energy Entrepreneurs in Bidi Bidi Refugee Settlement
Updated: Nov 9, 2020
As told through conversations with Tabu Rose Juliet, an entrepreneur selling cookstoves and solar in Bidi Bidi refugee settlement.
Tabu Rose Juliet believes in a community devoid of the negative environmental effects caused by deforestation. As a resident of Zone 3 in Bidi Bidi refugee settlement, she is playing a pivotal role as the Vice Chairperson of Yoyo Youth Clean energy cooperation (YOYEC), at the young age of 22. YOYEC is a distributor of clean energy products in Bidi Bidi refugee settlement, which now hosts over 280,000 people. The instant response is food, currently there are agencies and organizations providing this support through humanitarian and entrepreneurial empowerment. Food aid in the settlements is provided uncooked and this impels the recipients to source out locally available fuels for food preparation. ENVenture has, through its incubator model, created over 90 enterprises in Uganda that sell clean energy. The learnings and data accrued over the last five years have guided a new entry into Bidi Bidi refugee settlement.
Established in 2020, through ENVenture and Response Innovation Lab, YOYEC distributes household clean energy products to its local vicinity with a mission to curb energy poverty and encourage a switch from reliance on traditional fuels. Since its launch, YOYEC sells products through its two kiosks both located in local Luzira Village. The products sold in the kiosks are improved cookstoves, non-electric water filters, solar, briquettes and heat retaining bags. Her role in the organization revolves around overseeing daily operations, with the overarching principle of extending these income-saving technologies at terms favorable to the end users.
Like many people in the settlement, Rose came to Uganda in 2016, following unrest in South Sudan seeking refugee status in Bidi Bidi. She studied in Uganda up to Senior Four level at Ombaci Secondary School in 2016, thereafter she worked as a Hygiene Promoter at the Norwegian Refugee Council and Medecins Sans Frontieres. Today, she is steadfast on her new journey as an entrepreneur and this is often seen by her enthusiasm. On asking why she joined YOYEC, Rose says she has a strong desire to educate her community on the importance of transitioning to modern cleaner technologies. She also wants to acquire a steady income that will provide for her family and two toddlers.
The 2015 framework of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development and Sustainable Development Goals, calls for all economies to leave no one behind. The specific pledge in the framework reiterates reaching those furthest behind first, with regards to SDGs. Refugee settlements in Uganda are off-grid and extremely remote, with little to no access to products sold in neighboring cities. YOYEC is now stepping in to fill this gap, to not only raise a much-needed awareness about clean energy but also avail these products to the local community.
ENVenture (www.enventureenterprises.org) is a program of New Energy Nexus. We are building out the ecosystem in the last mile for clean energy access through Financing, Capacity building and Mobile Technology.
New Energy Nexus (newenergynexus.com) is a non-profit international organization that strives towards an abundant world with a 100% clean energy economy for 100% of the population in the shortest time possible. To achieve this goal, it supports diverse clean energy entrepreneurs with funds, accelerators and networks. It started in California and now operate programs in New York, China, India, Southeast Asia and East Africa.