BIOSHOPS, Sun-Energy for food security and Resilience
Renewable energy, particularly solar cells, is crucial for improving access to drinking water and irrigation. So using of renewable energy in partnership with counterparts, WFP works directly with participants to improve their productive systems, which ensures adequate consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, improving food access in indigenous Wayúu families and recovering traditional seeds and food. The communities use ancestral agricultural and water management techniques to maintain the gardens where they produce their own food and sold surpluses products in community bio-shops to increase their family income.
When indigenous communities produce their own food, they become resilient to events like natural disasters (Floods, droughts) who directly affect their food security and put in risk their lives. Thus using technology and renewable energy based solutions they can confront in a better way climate changes in places where the environmental conditions hinder the survival.
How it benefits society
La Guajira is among the most vulnerable and marginalized departments in Colombia, with high rates of poverty, malnutrition, lack of access to basic services. Families suffer from acute malnutrition (some communities have 25% of acute malnutrition for children under 5), chronic malnutrition, and micronutrient deficiencies, which have contributed to the high number of child deaths in recent years. The border crisis with Venezuela has impacted the department’s economy, increasing prices and limiting access to food. This fragile situation is exacerbated by violence. Highly instable rainfall patterns, impact crop yields, livestock and access to potable water. Until early 2016, La Guajira had suffered from a prolonged drought due to El Niño; now the authorities concern the risk of floods due to La Niña.
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What's unique about it
The Bioshop strategy in La Guajira combines humanitarian assistance with the recuperation and strengthening of community livelihoods. Resilience to natural and socio-economic disasters, building a strategy aims to improve the indigenous communities’s food and nutrition security through a family approach.
A differential approach as a priority including the recuperation of ancestral plants and native species, seeds and renewable energy technology as key components of an integrated development solution in hostile environments, strengthening the resilience of livelihoods in at-risk communities in La Guajira.
The bio-shop like a solution proposed from the communities to improve communities conditions. So shops are administered by people from the communities and responding community needs.
Opportunity to scale
Lack of confidence from local governments in own communities development process.
Cost-efficient systems to supply chain local products because lack of infrastructure.
Higher cost to adquire and maintanance of solar cells in rurual areas.
Improve easy-to-use tecnologies to indigenous communities with no primary school.
Increase resilience to climate change challenges, helping communities to produce food using sun-power based solutions