UNDP Promotes Energy Access for the Poor through Multifunctional Platforms

April 2010: The UN Development Programme (UNDP) is working with the Government of Burkina Faso to promote access to energy as a key component of poverty reduction. The initiative includes the installation of multifunctional platforms, powered by a diesel engine.

The platforms provide various associated tools such as grinding mills, huskers, alternators, battery chargers, pumps, welding stations and carpentry equipment. They can also be used to distribute water and electricity in a small village. In Burkina Faso, multifunctional platforms are reducing the burden of daily chores for women and allow them time to engage in income-generating activities. The project has shown that women's economic empowerment has led to an improvement of their personal well-being, education and health access, as well as of the household.

It is estimated that 431 platforms have been installed in eight regions in Burkina Faso, benefiting more than 600,000 people. Evidence emerging from the experiences with the multifunctional platforms was presented during the 54th session of the Commission on the Status of Women held in March 2010, in New York. [UNDP Newsroom]