The World Bank has just allocated two grants worth a total of $ 160 million to improve essential services in remote rural communities in Burundi using solar energy. This funding has been allocated through the International Development Association (IDA).
$ 100 million in subsidies will go to the Solar Energy in Local Communities (SOLEIL) which will increase access to energy in the country by almost 100% by electrifying families, businesses, schools, and centers of the poorest communities in the country. More than 91,000 households, 4,000 SMEs, 500 schools and 400 health centers will have access to electricity thanks to solar energy. 400 schools and 300,000 households will also have ecological fireplaces.
The remaining $ 60 million will go to Integrated Community Development, a project that will improve nutrition and access to basic services and economic opportunities for the most vulnerable populations in the country, including refugees. It will allow the creation of 1,000 micro-enterprises and the training of 8,000 people in healthy nutrition.
“Through these projects, we will improve the living conditions of Burundians living in rural localities and strengthen human capital. They will help build small infrastructure such as schools, health centers, and roads while improving nutrition in these areas and improving access to solar electricity, ” the World Bank said in a statement.
The rural electrification rate in Burundi is 2% and in the country which has more than 85,000 refugees, more than 73% of the population lives below the poverty line.