Sunlight now drives many refugees' water systems in Bangladesh: UN

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-05 01:55:01|Editor: yan
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GENEVA, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said Friday that its first five solar-powered safe water systems at Cox's Bazar refugee settlements in Bangladesh are delivering at their full capacity with the aim to supply all refugees this way.

"These new systems improve the daily supply of safe, clean drinking water to Rohingya refugees living in crowded sites in southeast Bangladesh," UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic said here at a UN briefing for journalists.

The project, funded by the UN agency, is part of a broader shift in the humanitarian response towards the expanded use of green and non-polluting technologies.

"The new safe water systems run entirely on electricity generated through solar panels," said the spokesperson, adding that UNHCR aims to provide 20 liters of safe and clean water to each refugee daily.

More than 900,000 Rohingya refugees live across 36 different locations in Cox's Bazar area. Using solar energy has allowed the humanitarian community to reduce energy costs and emissions.

The five new water networks, jointly completed by UNHCR and its partners, are currently providing safe water to more than 40,000 refugees.

A further 55,000 refugees will benefit as UNHCR and its partner agencies are hoping to install nine more solar-powered water networks across Kutapalong refugee camp in the coming year, at the cost of 10 million U.S. dollars.