“Geothermal Village” Climatic Resilience in East Africa

SARL Géo2D is carrying out research in the East African Rift region aimed at providing the region's indigenous peoples with capabilities for development and climatic resilience based on the use of geothermal resources available at shallow depths beneath their lands.

An initiative of SARL Géo2D (geological resources for sustainable development)

Overview of the project

In East Africa, in the Rift Valley that stretches from the Red Sea to Mozambique, geological characteristics lead to the existence of a strong geothermal heat flow that results in geothermal phenomena at the surface (fumaroles, steam, hot springs, etc.). Currently, these phenomena are rarely exploited due to the lack of suitable technologies, however, geothermal energy enables the production of renewable energy and water, while providing climatic resilience. Indeed, the  low altitude Rift Valley, in some places below sea level, is characterised by a very dry climate as compared to the neighbouring plateaus. Nevertheless, the pastoralist indigenous peoples (Afar, Pokot, Masaï, etc.) living there have historically been removed from developments; and when development has taken place on their land (as in Olkaria in Kenya), the populations are relocated outside their ancestral lands, thus losing their ability to continue to live off their natural resources.

The project aims to empower these people to take charge of developing the resources on their land for their benefit, ensuring climatic resilience and a truly sustainable perspective despite climate change.


To give the indigenous peoples of the East African Rift Valley the capacity for development and climatic resilience based on the use of geothermal resources available at shallow depths beneath their land.

Level of progress

Ongoing research

Project timeline

11/10/2019- 11/1/2021

Quantitative results
  • Feasibility study demonstrating the project’s economic and social interest.
  • Creation of an Afar community enterprise to support this development.
Qualitative results

This local development project will allow the development of several similar projects in the future.


Self-financed by SARL Géo2D and contributions from Afar indigenous peoples via APDA (Afar Pastoralist Development Association).

About the

SARL Géo2D (geological resources for sustainable development)


Géo2D, with a strong presence in East Africa in the field of geothermal energy, specialises in the valorisation of geological resources for sustainable development.

Using their expertise, the company is committed to the idea of mobilising pastoral communities heavily affected by climate change in local development projects: production of thermal and electrical energy and water from steam available nearby and at the surface.

This concept, the “geothermal village,” is present at several identified sites in Afar (Ethiopia) and in the Masaï and Pokot countries (Kenya). In addition to the scientific and technical aspects (geosciences, adapted geothermal engineering), Géo2D also masters the social dimensions with a thesis in progress at EHESS Paris on the subject of indigenous peoples’ participation in these climatic resilience projects.

A project
in collaboration
  • Afar Pastoralist Development Association

    Indigenous Peoples Organisation

    Ismael Ali Gardo
  • AGAP Afar Geothermal Development CBO

    Business - Industry