Strengthening women’s control and access to clean and affordable energy in Vanuatu

Strengthening women’s control and access to clean and affordable energy in Vanuatu

Off-Grid Renewable Energy Partnerships Vanuatu Resources and Clean Energy Active



Partner contribution

$ 29,576

DFAT contribution

$ 250,000

Icon Total Funds

Total Value

$ 279,576

Start: June 2024 - End: March 2026


Australian Government

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade works with international partners and other countries to tackle global challenges, increase trade and investment opportunities, protect international rules, keep our region stable and help Australians overseas.


ActionAid Australia

ActionAid is a women’s rights organisation that empowers women on the frontlines of injustice to work together and transform their communities.

Women TokTok Tugeta (WITT) Network

Women I TokTok Tugeta (WITTT) is a locally-led and driven women’s forum that brings together over 9,000 women on five islands, who meet regularly through women’s collectives to advance their rights and drive locally-led responses to climate change and disasters.


PowerWells is an Australian company that repurposes lithium-ion batteries to give them a second life – providing energy to communities without power and diverting toxic waste from landfill.

About this partnership

Photo credit: Clare Douglas/ActionAid

A partnership to strengthen women’s control and access to clean and affordable energy in Vanuatu


Vanuatu is one of the most vulnerable nations to the effects of climate change. Its geographical remoteness, together with the high costs associated with securing safe and dependable energy, means that electricity is inaccessible to the majority of households. Only 33% of the population has access to grid power and energy access is even lower for rural communities, home to 75% of Vanuatu’s population.

Low access to reliable, affordable electricity has negatively impacted the livelihoods of households, particularly for rural households, and has resulted in low living standards and income generation options. Also, most of the electricity they do have comes from diesel and other dirty fuels, which are not good for the environment.

For women, the lack of access to electricity impacts their lives disproportionately, affecting their health, safety in poorly lit areas, ability to use technology, and ability to gain financial independence. Women are also often excluded from policy discussions yet are often the ones who collect and use biomass for energy.

About the initiative

Through this partnership, local women from the remote Lawital community of North Tanna will gain training, networks and technology to enable their community to access safe and reliable energy, replacing kerosene, diesel and candles.

The partnership will provide lighting and device charging systems to 115 households and five community centres in the Lawital community, as well as setting up streetlights in 10 public spaces. A monthly PayGo payment system will be implemented for the users to gain ownership of the systems over approximately three years to ensure project sustainability, with payments being reinvested into maintaining the systems, purchasing future renewable systems and improving livelihoods in the community.

Hear from our partners

“We are very excited about this partnership as it will show the leadership and agency of women taking the lead in this project ,which we hope to achieve a more meaningful seat at the decision making table and gain more respect for our woman ,girls and disability in our communities.” Flora Vano | Country Manager, ActionAid Vanuatu

Key contributions from partners
  • ActionAid Australia is responsible for organising the partnership’s start-up and training activities, including engaging with community leaders. They also oversee the project’s implementation, prepare financial and narrative reports, and ensure smooth coordination between all partners. ActionAid Australia will collaborate closely with ActionAid Vanuatu (AAV) and the WITTT network.
  • Women I TokTok Tugeta (WITTT) Network is the local women-led network which will implement the initiative within the community.
  • PowerWells brings significant expertise in repurposing lithium-ion batteries to the partnership. It will provide the lighting systems and deliver training.
  • The Australian Government will contribute catalytic funding. It will also connect partners to networks, provide support through the BPP in gender and disability inclusion, business models, safeguards and impact measurement, as well as support with communications to enable national and global recognition.

Photo credit: Clare Douglas/ActionAid

This partnership was selected through the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP) Call for Partnerships to Support Off-Grid Renewable Energy in the Pacific and Timor-Leste.


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