Solar power for Camp Mam Rashan in Dohuk

Philipp Keil, Managing Director of the SEZ, at the opening of the photovoltaic system in Camp Mam Rashan in Dohuk, northern Iraq.

Recently, the 8.500 people in the Mam Rashan camp in the northern Iraqi province of Dohuk finally have electricity during the day.

This was made possible through funds from the state of Baden-Württemberg. The State Ministry provided around 400.000 euros in funding for the construction of the photovoltaic system, while around 200.000 euros came from the private sector - as donations in the form of discounted material resources and free labor.

“The project enjoys great attention in northern Iraq,” reports SEZ managing director Philipp Keil. “It is a very innovative project that contributes to significantly better care for the camp residents. And at the same time it is a good example that radiates far into the region and raises awareness among people in northern Iraq about clean energy.”

Work on the photovoltaic system at Camp Mam Rashan in Dohuk started at the end of 2017 together with the non-profit atmosfair gGmbH, which carried out the project. “atmosfair did a great job,” says Laurids Novak, who is responsible for project funding at the SEZ. “The whole thing was only possible to this extent and to this quality because we had great support on site, including from the team at Refugee Aid Essen.”

The Mam Rashan plant is designed to be easily expanded to meet a higher proportion of electricity demand. There are already considerations about this. The training of local maintenance staff and energy scouts, for example, were part of the project measures.

“For the SEZ, the photovoltaic system in Mam Rashan is an absolute pilot project. We have not yet had any other project of this size, because we normally support much smaller projects,” emphasizes Keil and adds: “In Mam Rashan, an attempt was made to provide humanitarian aid with a long-term perspective to combine perspective. And I think that was a success.” The experience with the project was very positive, everyone was willing to get involved – and “Mam Rashan is a blueprint for other camps.” The Mam Rashan camp is predominantly inhabited by Yazidi internally displaced people. In addition to the solar system for Mam Rashan, the state of Baden-Württemberg has supported other projects in Dohuk in northern Iraq. For example, a carpet factory was built on the edge of the Khanke refugee camp. Also in Khanke, a playground was built in a children's center on the edge of the camp with support from Baden-Württemberg. Other measures included the implementation of computer and English courses in collaboration with the Iraqi organization Women for Better Healthy Life (WFBH) and a pilot project to raise and fatten calves in a remote region outside Dohuk.

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