REFUGEE CAMPS AND DISPLACED PERSONS CAMPS
The frightening statistics of the world’s refugee camps were briefly set out in 1.4 above – 52 million displaced persons. SunArk personnel have visited a typical large refugee camp in Jordan and they have held detailed discussions with the camp management and the refugees. This was Zaatari Camp, where around 100,000 people live in tents and other temporary structures.
Refugee camps are not often ‘planned in advance’ and there is no standard way to construct them and develop them.
There are, however, standard problems – easily listed:
- power supply (safely installed and available to all )
- fresh and safe water supply
- washing, toilet and sewage facilities
- medical centres with cool storage
- food storage and distribution centres
- schools and childcare facilities
- accommodation/recuperation for sick or elderly
- organisation, religious and social centres
- general retail and light industrial premises
- communication connection (radio, telephone & internet)
We believe that SunArk can be the overall, planned means of improving existing refugee camps and constructing future refugee camps. It requires:
- One SunArk for every 40 tents. Each tent has a portable battery (motorbike size) which is re-charged each 1-2 days at SunArk: there will be spare batteries to cover periods of low radiation.
- If the camp has 40,000 inhabitants, there will be some 6000 tents, so 150 SunArks could be used. The SunArks will be schools/medical centres/food centres/retail/industrial/organisation/social/ recuperation/water-aid – as well as generating renewable power supply for the camp.
Camp by camp, this can be planned. Existing camps will not require all the SunArks calculated above, but new camps can be properly planned in advance. There are new ‘domed tents’ now available with folding frames… so planned camps can be much improved in terms of facility and stability. Solar power has already been put to (restricted) use in some of the camps – and successfully. But equally, the provision of power by grid-line has been misused by unofficial and dangerous ‘tapping’ in other camps.
For the last 30 years (since the Rio Earth Summit) the concept of Eco-Tourism has emerged as sustainable travel and tourism. During that same period, the growth of Tourism has grown apace… so that it is now worth directly 3% of world GDP and 10% including indirect GDP, and employs roughly 210 million people directly and 700 million including indirect employment. Tourism is increasing by 3-4% per annum.
Tourism contributes to global warming through greenhouse gases in the stratosphere, and to crowd pollution on the surface of the Earth.
Eco-Tourism, however, is ‘responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people’. It can be a misused term, and can be laughed at as Ego-Tourism or accused of being ‘green-painted Tourism’. Nonetheless, genuine Eco-Tourism is becoming regulated and accredited and supported as sustainable travel and tourism which does NOT harm the areas visited, and which provides the local population with work and income and status.
Eco-Tourism requires eco-buildings and sustainable opportunities for the locals. SunArk complexes have been designed to be constructed without upheaval to the environment, to be self-supporting in energy, to have no waste effect, and to provide employment and training to the locals (in tourism and management and sustainability).
These complexes have a central services and operational hub, with accommodation units around the hub. They will be placed in off-grid locations which have some appeal to responsible tourists. Discussions have started with Indian Ocean island locations and with tourist locations in Afica, Europe and the Middle East.
As noted in 2.3 above, the complexes can be camouflaged by conventional means or by optical systems using reflective materials and/or LED, powered by the PV array.