On November 3rd, 2015, Let There Be Light International (LTBLI) offered KACCAD a grant to build and provide a new complete solar power system for a health clinic in rural Ngeribalya village of Gomba district. The solar power panel was built to install 24-hour safe and efficient electricity for the clinic, including its staff quarters. In addition to the solar equipment, the grant provided funds for the project’s labor as well as its administrative needs. This project was much needed as the clinic had difficulties functioning with its continued use of kerosene lamps. The technical team contracted with the project began installation on November 23rd and completed on November 24th.
Prior to the project, KACCAD was facilitated to conduct a study of the center’s background. The findings and data collection disclosed that:
- The clinic serves an area of 8029 people in Ngeribalya
- The nearest electric grid is approximately five kilometers away
- The clinic operated 12 hours/day with the use of kerosene lamps
- The clinic sees an estimate of 300 patients/week with its most common case among patients being respiratory tract infection
- The clinic’s in-charge stated that nighttime deliveries are difficult with kerosene lamps
The findings indicate the following:
- The nearest electric grid’s inconvenient distance gives the clinic the only option of kerosene lamps
- With solar powered energy, the clinic can have a reliable and convenient source of electricity
- The 12 hour operation time only allows the clinic to reach minimal patients and is inflexible for patients with emergencies
- With solar powered energy, the clinic can have 24-hour operations for its patients as well as serve more patients
- Kerosene lamps, though portable, are dangerous in its proneness for catching fire and harmful to physical health
- With solar powered energy, patients and staff are safe
Only a few hours after its installation, the solar power panels proved its importance when a snake was sighted by a technician. With the help of the new lights, the technician was able to quickly respond to the situation and deter the snake from entering the clinic. Without the installation, the snake would most likely have injured individuals inside the clinic.
Along with the installation of the solar power equipment, KAACD also gave the clinic and community members an educational session on the solar energy. This served as a way to increase awareness on the importance of efficient and safe electricity that the solar equipment have brought for the clinic. Compared to kerosene lamps, the lighting provided by the new panels is long lasting to allow 24-hour operations and gives clean and safe energy that is free of harmful chemicals. With this information,
KAACD hopes the clinic, its patients, and the wider community of Ngeribalya will be motivated to protect and maintain their new addition for years to come.