Energy Resources for Recovery and Reconstruction

In emergencies, people are displaced for a long time, especially in the poorer parts of the world. They will need energy (especially for cooking) as soon as they settle in an emergency shelter, and hence the energy provision needs to be considered right from the beginning of an emergency response.

Considering energy as a vital component of both immediate relief and of long-term rehabilitation, this section focuses on the challenges of energy delivery in a disaster and recovery relief context.

Why consider energy access in the reconstruction process?

Supplying energy for people in crisis has frequently been neglected in relief efforts. However, energy provision can reduce or exacerbate the vulnerability of communities affected by disaster. Moreover, this particular situation constitutes a good time to help communities transition towards alternative, more sustainable energy options. In past examples, the introduction of new technologies helped to address the emergency situation while, at the same time, serve to rehabilitate the agricultural or economic sector in the mid to long-term development and transition from disaster.

The need for targeted energy interventions during relief and recovery efforts is becoming both more critical and obvious. Energy for cooking is generally the largest need for displaced population, but other household needs such as lightning, heating, refrigeration or communications also demand the provision of energy during the reconstruction process and should constitute a priority in the response process after a disaster. The provision of energy access for these needs ensures sustainability during and after the intervention, preventing undesirable environmental effects and ensuring the needs of the population will be covered even after the reconstruction aid efforts are finished.


What are the options and possibilities for providing energy access?

Solutions for energy access vary according to the stage of the reconstruction process.  The options and possibilities for energy provision will differ in emergency, transitional or permanent shelter, according to the characteristics of the type of settlement, investment and other considerations. A comprehensive study of shelter options after disaster can be found here.

Considering these differences, the next sections provide useful information on energy technologies that are appropriate for different stages of the reconstruction process.

Energy for Emergency Shelters

Emergency shelters provide a temporary solution of settlement for populations that have been displaced for reasons such as natural disasters or conflict. Emergency shelters aim to provide a habitable covered living space and a secure, healthy living environment, with privacy and dignity for it...

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Energy for Permanent Housing

Permanent housing after disaster constitutes the last stage of the reconstruction process and provides long term solutions for people affected by disaster. This is achieved either by rebuilding or relocation of the affected populations, which results, in any case, on the proportion of a durabl...

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