Nearly 90% of the energy produced in Brazil comes from renewable sources, making the Brazilian economy one of the most low-carbon in the world. However, access to electricity remains an issue in the Amazon region, where nearly two million Brazilians have no access to electricity (IEMA, 2019). Without access to energy, children in Indian communities cannot benefit from basic services (drinking water, education, health...) nor fully develop their potential and free themselves from the vicious circle of poverty.
The Javari Valley is one of the largest indigenous territories in Brazil. Located close to the Peruvian border, this territory is shared by 7 indigenous communities, representing some 6,400 people, including the Marubo people on or near the Rio Curuçá.
The opportunity to initiate the development of sustainable electrification arose from meetings with the members of these villages and the concerns expressed in terms of improving their living conditions and preventing the exodus of young people to the towns.
Although the villages identified have a few generators and individual solar systems, these are still inadequate to meet the needs expressed by the communities.
A team from Energie Assistance, a Belgian non-profit association set up in 2001 by employees of the ENGIE Group, carried out an exploratory mission to confirm the needs and define the scope and size of the energy access project for 2 villages.
While the technical aspects of the project are clearly defined, AMADE has been asked by the ENGIE Foundation, the project's financial partner, to provide its technical expertise in terms of project management, monitoring and evaluation.
The exploratory mission carried out in August 2022 by two Energie Assistance expert-volunteers and the representative of the Indian communities, Mr. Beto Baruto, in the villages of Maronal and Morada Nova made it possible to specify the targets, the regulatory, socio-economic, cultural and political context; to quantify the needs, the number of schools and pupils, and the capacities of the target populations in terms of equipment mastery. The people interviewed are keen to improve their living conditions and avoid the exodus of young people from the villages.
Electrification of schools and associated structures
Two schools, one in each village, and a library (in the village of Maronal) will benefit from electrification and the installation of laptop computers, overhead projectors and printers.
These children will thus have access to more modern teaching methods, while continuing to acquire their ancestral knowledge.
The homes where the children live will also be electrified, enabling them to extend their study time in the evenings.
Electrification of dispensaries
Electrification of the two dispensaries will ensure optimal conservation of vaccines and continuous use of laboratory equipment.
Identifying promising sectors for income-generating activities
There is a strong demand from communities for the development of income-generating activities and training for the creation of micro-businesses to add value to local produce and help limit the exodus of young people to the towns.
Evaluation and capitalization
This pilot phase will be used to test and validate the proposed intervention model, and to measure the impact of access to energy in terms of education and health, with a view to extending it to other Marubo villages (6 other villages identified).
1. 2 villages are electrified
2. 2 schools and 1 library are electrified
3. 2 dispensaries are electrified
Sustainable electricity for the Amazon
Villages de Morada Nova et Maronal en Amazonie
Among 600 Indians from the Marubo community: 61 families from the villages of Morada Nova and Maronal
More specifically :
- Morada Nova: 12 families (55 people, 40% of whom are under 20)
- Maronal: 49 families (212 people, 46% under 20)
Operator: Energy Assistance asbl
Institutional and technical partners :
FUNAI: Fondation Nationale de l'Indien. FUNAI is responsible for mapping and protecting the lands traditionally inhabited and used by indigenous communities. Its role is also to prevent these territories from being invaded by outsiders.
UNIVAJA: União das Organizações Indígenas do Vale do Javari (Union of Indigenous Organizations of the Javari Valley)
Improve community children's access to quality education and healthcare.
Prevent the exodus of young people through the development of income-generating activities and the valorization of local products.