United Nations Environmental Programme
Federal Republic of Somalia
Hannah Mary Bhaskaran
Forest Hills Eastern High School
The World Energy Outlet has discovered that even though billions of people around the world use energy in their daily lives, 16% of people have little or no access to it. Data collected by the World Bank revealed that six out of ten people in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to energy. Increasing the amount of energy generated from renewable sources is a top priority for Somalia as it could benefit our citizens and surrounding countries greatly. Climate change has become an imperative issue with the concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere being at the highest its ever been in three million years. Thankfully, the declining cost of renewable energy has allowed wind and solar power to become cost-competitive with the fossil fuels that are heating our planet.
According to the European Union, ninety-five percent of the people living in poverty in Somalia have no electricity. We depend on using charcoal and firewood for cooking and heating. These traditional forms have negative environmental consequences by adding more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when burned. The USAID has discovered that Somalia “ has the highest potential of any African country for onshore wind power” as more than fifty percent of Somalia experiences winds faster than six meters per second. Somalia also experiences 2,900 to 3,100 hours of sunlight per year – one of the highest daily averages of solar radiation on earth (USAID). Unfortunately, our country lacks the financial means to implement wind power and solar power. Since the deterioration of the Somalian central government in 1991, the Somalian private sector has been providing electricity services. The power sector has many challenges such as insufficiently trained labor, high cost of investment, and lack of necessary supplies. In 2018 the World Bank conducted a study in which they put together a 20-year plan to reduce costs, analyzed regulations and laws, and discovered ways to develop the sector. The Somalian government had drafted regulations, strategies and the beginning of an energy policy to gain more investment from private sectors. The European Union has assisted us greatly with the Somalia Energy and Livelihood Project which has provided us with renewable energy sources to lessen poverty. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is currently aiding us to provide our citizens with quality energy.
Somalia proposes that the United Nations help gain investments to put towards improving our private sectors. With the improvement of our private sectors, Somalia could implement more sources of renewable energy to benefit our people and reduce energy. We would take advantage of the strength of our winds and solar radiation. Somalia would greatly benefit from any assistance from the United Nations.
- Hannah Bhaskaran