As part of the Power Africa initiative, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing a $2.3 million grant to six providers of off-grid solar energy systems. The devices will be used to electrify health care facilities in five sub-Saharan African countries.
Six off-grid solar providers are receiving grants from the US Agency for International Development (USAID). The grants total $2.3 million under the Power Africa initiative. These sub-Saharan African companies will use the grant to electrify health centres in five sub-Saharan African countries.
In Kenya, the US company d.light will use its share of the grant to install solar photovoltaic systems and provide vaccine refrigerators in 80 health centres. According to Power Africa, the funding will allow the company, led by Ned Tozun, to optimise its pay-as-you-go solar energy model. The solar systems installed as part of the deal will come with a minimum five-year after-sales service guarantee. d.light will also train technicians from the various health facilities in the operation and maintenance of solar systems.
The intervention in Uganda
In Uganda, 11 health care centres will benefit from the new Power Africa grant. These facilities are located on the islands of Lake Victoria, in the districts of Buvuma and Kalangala. The electrification projects will be carried out by Equatorial Power and SustainSolar. In addition to installing off-grid solar systems, the two companies will equip these public hospitals with refrigerators for vaccines and reagents, a water purifier, an incubator for newborns, an autoclave steriliser and a device charging station.
South African company SustainSolar will also be working in Sierra Leone, alongside Aptech Africa. The Kampala, Uganda-based solar energy provider plans to install SustainSolar’s SustainBox containerised systems to power existing equipment at four health centres. Aptech Africa will also take advantage of the additional SustainBox production capacity to supply each facility with a newborn incubator, autoclave steriliser, oxygen concentrator, ultrasound machine, suction pump and portable electrocardiograph. The solar systems will also power refrigerators for vaccine storage and water pumps that will serve the health centres and their communities via kiosks.
Electrifying 100 hospitals in Malawi
In Oyo State, Nigeria, Havenhill Synergy will electrify 50 health care facilities as part of a public-private partnership (PPP) with the local government. The Oyo State Government will pay for the electricity supplied by the off-grid solar systems. For its part, Havenhill covers the costs of operating and maintaining the solar systems for at least 10 years. Through a previous Power Africa grant, the Abuja-based company has installed off-grid solar systems in 21 health centres in Oyo State.
Malawi is also among the countries benefiting from the Power Africa grant. The funding is being provided to SolarWorks! for the electrification of 100 health centres. According to Power Africa, the company will size its solar power systems to the needs of each facility, which range from large clinics to small health posts. The company’s smallest 3 kWh system can power several lamps and chargers, as well as a medical examination lamp, an infection counting analyser, a microscope, an internet router and a desktop computer. In addition, SolarWorks! will electrify the staff quarters at each facility and train staff in the operation and maintenance of the equipment.
Jean Marie Takouleu