The former French Minister of the Environment, Ségolène Royal, plans to equip 13 Cameroonian maternity hospitals with solar power generation systems. The "Solar Maternity" project was launched on May 13, 2019 in Bikok, in the central region of Cameroon.
Thirteen maternity hospitals will soon be connected to solar energy in Cameroon, thanks to an initiative by the former French Minister of the Environment, Ségolène Royal. The maternity hospitals will be powered by solar energy produced by each of the 13 municipalities selected and run by women members of the Cameroonian branch of the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA-Cam): Bikok, Mbengwi, Mayo-Oulo, Mayo-Darle, Ngoyla, Afanloum, Andeck, Dzeng, Kon Yambetta, Doumé, Fokoué, Angossas and Garoua Boulay. The launching ceremony took place on May 13, 2019 in Bikok, a locality in the Central region, in the presence of Ségolène Royal, the Cameroonian Minister of Energy, Urban Development and Housing (and former head of REFELA), Célestine Ketcha Courtes and the French Ambassador to Cameroon, Gilles Thibault.
The overall objective of the initiative is to strengthen the energy system in the health centres of the beneficiary municipalities. It will guarantee their energy autonomy with a project management of renewable energy production and distribution technologies. It is therefore planned to improve the quality of the electricity supply service in order to guarantee better medical conditions during delivery phases. The activities are often disrupted by untimely power cuts; incidents that have an impact on the number of deaths recorded during births.
The project is implemented by the NGO “Désirs d’avenir pour la planète” and as part of the “Femmes et énergie durable” a sustainable energy programme for women, led by Ségolène Royal. Its total cost is estimated at €1,520,000. The money is being mobilised by the International Association of Francophone Mayors (AIMF), the Veolia Foundation, and the French Agency for the Environment and Energy Management (Ademe). Ségolène Royal announced during the ceremony that she would be back to Cameroon in July 2019 to assess the work progress. With her NGO, she wants to carry out similar projects in Senegal, Togo and Mali.