In celebration of the International Day of Clean Energy, ADRA takes steps towards addressing the dual challenge of ensuring access to energy for all while safeguarding the environment. The United Nations reports that 675 million people currently live without access to electricity, with a staggering four out of five residing in Sub-Saharan Africa. This lack of reliable power significantly hinders crucial sectors such as health care, education, and economic development.
Yuka’s Struggle with Unreliable Power
Located 800 kilometers (approx. 500 miles) west of Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, Yuka Adventist Mission Hospital (YAH) is one of the oldest clinics, serving the rural districts of Kalabo and Sikongo. With a capacity of 120 beds, YAH faced a significant challenge due to frequent power outages from the grid. The hospital incurred high bills as diesel generators ran for extended hours, impacting healthcare services and operational costs.
In response to YAH’s energy challenges, ADRA Austria took a proactive step by supporting installing a solar photovoltaic system. This system was designed to provide a continuous energy supply to run critical equipment 24 hours a day, making Yuka Adventist Hospital less dependent on the unreliable power grid.
The implementation of the Solar Power Backup Project at Yuka Adventist Mission Hospital brought about a transformative change. Richard Likando, hospital administrator, attested to the positive impact, stating that the project significantly improved and ensured safe service delivery.
Likando shared instances where unstable grid power supply and frequent outages posed serious challenges to service delivery, even leading to lifesaving procedures being conducted under “candlelight arrangements.” With the newly installed solar power backup system, the hospital now operates without constant fears of disruptions, ensuring a reliable, dependable source of energy.
A Glimpse into the Impact on Maternal and Child Health
Likando recounted scenarios where the solar power backup system played a critical role in ensuring the safety of both mothers and newborns during medical procedures. The reliable power supply eliminated the risks associated with abrupt power outages, creating a safer environment for medical interventions such as Cesarean sections.
In a heartfelt expression of gratitude, Likando concluded with “To God be the glory!” recognizing the donors and ADRA for making a significant difference in the lives of the community served by Yuka Adventist Mission Hospital.
As people commemorate the International Day of Clean Energy, initiatives such as the Solar Power Backup Project at Yuka Adventist Mission Hospital are a step toward a future where clean, reliable energy transforms communities and ensures no one is left behind. Together, those involved continue to celebrate milestones in sustainable development, making health care and essential services accessible to all.