A pilot sustainable energy project for Bangangté and Fokoué

A network of female local councillors is getting involved in a renewable energy electrification project in Cameroon. The benefits will be immediate for the residents of Bangangté and Fokoué before the project is potentially replicated across the country.

Humanitarian and Development

    Bangangté and Fokoué (Cameroon)

    Thierry Vandevelde

    €150,000 at the 26/1/16 Board.

    Project Leader

    Réseau des femmes élues locales du Cameroun (REFELA-CAM – Cameroon Network of Female Local Councillors)

Cameroon is truly a country of contrasts. The country’s significant energy potential is underused. Cameroon harnesses less than 1% of its solar resources and equally the country does not capitalize on its many waterways; it is in fact ranked second in Africa for hydroelectric power potential. The population is paying the price: barely 27% of households have access to electric power.
In view of the situation, REFELA-CAM is taking action by rolling out pilot sustainable energy projects in Western Cameroon. The organisation is headed by Célestine Ketcha Courtès, the mayor of Bangangté, with whom the Foundation has already run, in partnership with AIMF, a water and sanitation sustainable project management programme.[1]
Pilot initiatives
The 2016 project focuses on Bangangté and Fokoué. These two towns are respectively located in the N’Dé and Menoua areas of Western Cameroon and will host two sustainable energy local generation and access programmes developed by REFELA-CAM. These projects should enable a street lighting system to be installed harnessing solar energy in the two towns and a small hydroelectric power plant to be built in Bangangté.
Infrastructure management is also part of the programme in both towns: maintenance, technical services organisation and pooling skills are all key component parts of a properly managed public service. The project includes a component focusing on these aspects of governance.
Sharing experiences
Installation of this infrastructure is part of a ‘network-based’ approach. The pilot projects will be shared with all the local districts and training sessions on bolstering technical services and council project management will be arranged by REFELA-CAM. Methodological and practical tools will be used to aid the sharing of experiences. The other towns in the network will be able to discuss an approach which can be 'exported' across the country's regions. The wider rollout of this innovative project could benefit thousands of Cameroonians in the long term.

REFELA-CAM – an important player in the development of local districts

REFELA-CAM is an apolitical non-profit with legal status and draws on its strong roots across Cameroon: the organisation has some 30 female mayors from 10 regions. Its energy work is facilitated by a legislative environment which has developed over the past few years in order to enable local districts to get involved in decentralised electricity generation, notably using renewable sources of energy.

[1] The programme improved access to water and sanitation for the residents of Bangangté (roughly 200,000 people).