In the Democratic Republic of Congo 80% of the population do not have electricity. Thousands of people rely on kerosene lamps and candles to light their homes and they have to burn wood on open fires to cook and heat water. This is dangerous, harmful, polluting, and expensive. Batteries are widely used to power radios and people often have to travel for many miles to charge their mobile phones.
Many traditional midwives, trained midwives and nurses have no lighting at night when delivering babies. Those who are fortunate use traditional kerosene lamps or candles. However, it is difficult for them to get money to buy kerosene or candles because, in the DRC, 80% of the population live on under $1 per day so life there is very, very difficult.
When expectant women go to some midwives after dark, they find that the midwives have no lights in their health centres and maternity clinics. These midwives, who do not have kerosene lamps or candles, are forced to deliver babies in darkness and this can add complications to the deliveries and makes it difficult to save the lives of the mothers and their babies.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), power blackouts can mean the difference between life and death in a healthcare situation, but a Solar Kit system is now keeping some Hospitals, Health Clinics and Birth Centre’s out of darkness.
MHCD (Mission in Health Care and Development), Democratic Republic of Congo, is launching a project called Solar for Life. The project will have 3 main components:
- SOLAR KITS FOR HEALTH:
We will Provide 300 solar kits to Traditional midwives (for Birthing Centre’s) and to Midwives and Nurses (for Health Centre’s and Maternity Clinics) in villages and rural areas in the D.R. Congo. Last month we received a report that, in villages, many babies and mothers are dying during childbirth because of the lack of electricity and good lighting during the night.
With access to solar energy lights, women will be able to give birth in much safer conditions.
To solve this problem, MHCD is planning to distribute 300 solar kits of 3 to 5 bulbs with Fm Radio, Mobile phone charge and USB to traditional Midwives, Nurses, Clinics, Delivery rooms and Maternity Units in Uvira Territory, DRC. The solar kits will provide good lighting so the midwives can consult and treat women and their babies without any problems. It will also provide lights for the traditional midwives’ families and their children can study in good conditions at night thereby helping their education.
The Solar Kits have access to Fm Radio so the midwives can listen to Impact Radio every day without having to buy batteries. They will also be able to charge their mobile phones for free. The Solar Kits are a great solution to many of their problems and will make their work and lives much easier.
- LUVUNGI MHCD SOLAR FARM:
MHCD Luvungi has 150 beds hospital, Kindergarten, primary and secondary school centres with more than 1200 students every year, university, student accommodations, Radio station, mortuary freezer, computer and tailoring training centre and many community development activities. All these activities need power for them to be successful. Functioning of the mortuary freezer, blood bank, reanimation and anesthesia machine have proved difficult to use due to lack of enough power to run them. There has been the same problem at the impact radio and computer training centre due to lack of electricity. This is why we are installing 100kw solar farm that will provide electricity to all of the MHCD activities and the community near the Hospital. The project will also be as a microfinancing project for MHCD and will help so much in improving lives and reducing poverty in Luvungi. With this project the community will have light in their houses, be able to charge phones and listen to Radio, needs that so many people have at the moment. We have already installed the solar panels, right now we are in need of solar off grid inverters and batteries so that we can have electricity. We request anyone with contacts on how we can get the batteries and inverters or any other support to the project to please contact us on the address below. This is one of MHCDs great project since there has never been electricity in Luvungi and its MHCD that’s trying to bring it. Providing power in Luvungi will be a great gift to the community that they will never forget.
- SOLAR STREET LIGHTS:
Installing of solar street lights in Luvungi and other villages is another project under the solar for life. This project helps us to fight against insecurity at night and also promote small businesses. It has been very difficult for people to sell past 6pm in the markets due to lack of lighting. Most people come from farms or other activities late then go shopping in the market only to find the sellers gone already. This project will help so much because the women doing small business will be able to sell their produce past 6 pm helping them to earn some money thus reducing poverty. Places we have already installed the street light businesses have been successful, under every light we have people selling vegetables, porridge, fish, clothes, meat and even cooked food and coffee in mobile restaurants. We have many testimonies from Luvungi of women saying through the solar street lights they have been able to send their kids to school, get food every day and pay for medicals for the kids. Kindly contact us if you would light to support us on this life changing project. Providing a street light in villages in DRC is reducing poverty and improving lives of many people.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Dr Luc MULIMBALIMBA
P.O.BOX:910 MOUNT BARKER SA 5251
Tel: +61 423 443 349