Trees, tensions, and transactional communities: Problematizing frameworks for energy poverty alleviation in the Rhino Camp refugee settlement, Uganda

Rachel Leigh-Ann Miller, Michael Alexander Ulfstjerne

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to shed light on how interventions designed to alleviate energy poverty within displace- ment settings may bring about adverse e↵ects. Within the past 20 years, the topic of energy access has increasingly made its way into the humanitarian field. Despite the direction of this emerging niche, interventions rarely bring about its intended outcomes. Building on participant observations collected among a multitude of stakeholders and ethnographic data from the Ugandan refugee settlement Rhino Camp, the paper has two main aims. First, we draw into question reigning assumptions among energy stakeholders that often explain the slow progress toward increasing energy access within displacement settings by way of recipient’s cultural disposition and lack of knowledge. Sec- ond, advancing the concept of transactional communities encompassing refugees and hosts, this article contributes to critical studies on energy transitions by not only viewing cooking as an individual or cultural practice, but also a social practice built upon interdependency and reciprocity. Including the perspectives of both refugees and host com- munities serves to pre-empt the protracted situation of refugee settlements, stressing the importance of considering transactional parties as a more durable entity that transcends temporary and problematic notions of refugee and host.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy Research & Social Science
ISSN2214-6296
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

Keywords

  • Refugee-host relations
  • Exchange
  • Camps
  • Household cooking
  • Aid policy
  • Sustainable energy

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Trees, tensions, and transactional communities: Problematizing frameworks for energy poverty alleviation in the Rhino Camp refugee settlement, Uganda'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this