This challenge is now closed for entries.
Why did we do this?
Since the end of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995, more than one million out of 2.2 million persons displaced during the war have returned to reclaim their lives.
For most of them, houses have been reconstructed and normal living conditions restored, but still more than 3,000 families in the most remote rural areas lack access to power. With the fast-declining funding for returnees, there is little hope that the grid will be extended to their villages; in most cases such an investment is not even economically justified.
Life without electricity
In 1995, 78-year old Milos Bosnjak's family - his son and daughter in law, with two grandsons - fled their homes and the carnage of war. While their house has been reconstructed, they still have no access to electricity. They cannot refrigerate their food or illuminate their home. They feel completely disconnected from the rest of the world.
They own a cow, one calf and 163 sheep. But without electricity they cannot store and refrigerate milk, nor produce cheese to generate income. Milos' grandson, who is a big football fan, can't watch TV at home. He already dreams of living in the city, where he can watch his favourite champions league teams.
What did we do?
Supported by Nesta, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina issued a challenge to design and develop a sustainable, cost-effective solution for a standalone, off-grid renewable energy supply that can produce an average of 2,25 kWh and 120 litres of hot-water a day, to cover the needs of an average returnee family in rural areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina that will not cost more than €5,000.
After two months of field testing the system installed on Zoran Rodić’s housing unit in Veliko Ocijevo, Drvar, was named the winner.
The winning system received a $20,000 cash prize. In addition, UNDP in Bosnia and Herzegovina piloted it in a rural area for up to 50 returnee families.