Turning Waste into Energy at Zaatari Refugee Camp, Jordan

Global collaboration and partnerships in response to the Syrian refugee crisis at CGI

New York, NY: At the 2016 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), Solar C3ITIES committed to installing two biogas hubs and educating 50 new biogas technicians and closed-loop farmers in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp over the next three years. The biogas hubs will turn food and animal wastes into clean and safe fuel and fertilizer, while eliminating pathogens that cause illness and attract disease-carrying animals. The hubs will provide access to energy and opportunities for residents to learn, share and implement clean and renewable energy solutions within Zaatari, with future plans to expand to Greece, Lebanon and Turkey. The biogas technicians will become micro-waste management experts and closed-loop farmers will gain income by building farm and community-scale biodigesters, selling the fertilizer and biogas, and working with Solar CITIES to schedule a series of workshops with local community members to scale biodigester construction. Increased access to renewable energy will reduce fossil fuel usage and indoor air pollution while controlling rodent and insect populations by better managing food waste at its source, ultimately impacting more than 11,000 residents and saving more than 100,000 KwH of energy.

Jordanian Queen Rania Al-Abdullah attended the Plenary Session: Succeeding in the World's Toughest Places at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York on Monday (19 September) stating “Remember that no one chooses to be a refugee, a refugee is something you become when you run out of choices. Most leaders are stuck in a linear mode of thinking or are concerned with short-term politics that they don’t think of the disruptions of the world. At the end of the day it is about people and values... putting people front and centered to be empowered. We can all do something for refugees.” Partnering with Solar C3ITIES to meet this commitment are UNICEF, Foam Tech Insulation Services, HomeBiogas Israel, Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, Blueprint for Survival, Tamera ecoVillage, Schools for Sustainability.

Solar C3ITIES will host educational seminars and classes, creating a curriculum that will enable its members to teach refugees how to use and teach local community/municipal members to scale expanded construction and build/install biodigesters in order to reduce the use of fossil fuels.