Refugee settlements in East Africa are usually located in dryland areas with poor soils and lack of irrigation water, creating more challenges in these vulnerable communities. Refugees rely on food rations from relief aid, mostly consisting of dry cereals that take a long time to cook, requiring a large amount of energy. Providing affordable and sustainable energy resources for refugees and their host communities poses a significant challenge.
In this episode of Let’s Talk Trees, World Agroforestry (ICRAF) bioenergy research scientist Mary Njenga, and Associate Director for Gender Initiatives at Pennsylvania State University Ruth Mendum discuss their experiences working with such communities in Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia. They highlight the importance of working with both and their host communities to ensure best practices are deployed to produce food and cooking energy sustainably in the landscape. A gender-inclusive approach is critical to ensuring effective resource management, as women and children make up the majority of the inhabitants of refugee camps and settlements in East.