For Raowia Lamhar, time is money and she really does not like to waste it. At just 27 years old, this young lady from Morocco has already personally revolutionised energy usage in rural areas. A real favourite at the COP 22 in 2016, she left a deep impression with her idea for a natural refrigerator for rural areas requiring no electricity: Fresh’it. Ingenious! The idea came about when Raowia, accompanied by her ENACTUS partners, visited some of the most remote rural regions of Morocco to identify the difficulties the inhabitants of these villages endure on a daily basis and to put forward tailored future-proof solutions.
During these field trips, Raowia discovered that many households were not connected to the electricity network. In 45°C heat, a lack of refrigeration meant food was regularly spoiled, and the risk of toxic and infectious disease increased. Added to that, the average loss constituted 20% of their monthly income. Things were no easier in areas with electricity because some families were forced to rent a space in the refrigerator of a community member. Others had their own appliance but seldom used it because of the hefty electricity bill. That is when Raowia decided to set up Fresh’it, a natural refrigerator, inspired by techniques used in the Sahara, made from clay and sand. With this ecological refrigerator, her GO Energyless Solutions startup, set up in 2016, achieved phenomenal success, equipping over 100,000 rural and urban households on a national and international level.
The SwitchMed initiative is funded by the European Union. Its activities benefit 8 countries in the Southern Mediterranean: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia. Through policy development, demonstration activities and networking opportunities, SwitchMed supports and connects stakeholders to scale-up eco and social innovations. The programme supports policy makers, eco-innovative small and medium sized enterprises, industries, start-ups and entrepreneurs in the Southern Mediterranean countries, which have identified job creation and natural resource protection as priority issues that also contribute to their economic stability.
The Switchers is a community of inspiring green entrepreneurs and changemakers in the Mediterranean region. It is also a place where entrepreneurs that share a common passion for the environment can meet. Switchers are green and circular businesses implementing eco-innovative solutions that contribute to sustainable and fair consumption and production models. They are active in a variety of fields, such as sustainable farming, green construction, sustainable textiles and cosmetics, eco-tourism, renewable energy, or waste management.
To celebrate the World Environment Day in 2021, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR), the EU Neighbours South regional communication programme, and the SwitchMed initiative teamed up for the launch of the regional competition EYES ON GREEN.
The competition covered 7 countries of the Southern Neighbourhood region: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia. The online ...