- Solar power developed by LEMA, a US company, has already been installed at Gongoni Health Centre courtesy of USAID.
- The residents and doctors have lauded the project saying it has ensured continued and efficient services at the facility.
Maternal health care in the remote village of Gongoni in Kilifi county has received a major boost after an organisation donated modern solar facilities to ensure access to power.
Solar power developed by LEMA, a US company, has already been installed at Gongoni Health Centre courtesy of USAID which is implementing such projects of powering health facilities in some countries in Africa.
The residents and doctors have lauded the project saying it has ensured continued and efficient services at the facility.
The solar-powered equipment is meant to save vaccines and other medicines from going bad due to power blackouts, disconnections or lack of power, particularly in the remote villages.
Jackson Karisa Fagio, a resident of Kilifi, said the solar technology project was meant to address the importance of having continuous power in health facilities.
Speaking during the official launch of the solar system produced by LEMA Power company, Fagio said for many years, women have suffered due to lack of power, particularly in remote areas.
“Having this technology will be of major help as there will be no need to wait until electricity is installed in the villages, currently there are many challenges, the economy is tough and may take years for the rural areas to get powerful,” he said.
Fagio said having LEMA Solar technology will enable all residents of Kilifi both those in town and remote areas, to have equal access to all services regardless of whether there is electricity or not.
He said currently, they are working in partnership with LEMA power and USAID, but are looking for more partners to install the solar technology in all rural health facilities to improve health care.
Fagio said in some areas, women deliver using torches at night while vaccines that require refrigeration are unable to be stored due to lack of power, making it challenging for children to get vaccines in time.
“With this kind of power, apart from improving health services in the county, this programme will help reduce the high electricity bills because right now, there are schools, hospitals and even government offices that have no power after they were disconnected,” he said.
Fagio called on the county to embrace the technology as it will be of help to ensure easy access to power in remote areas.
He said the technology will cut the costs of power and reduce the mortality rate among children in remote areas.
He said if installed, the solar can light a village, and also use wifi which is installed in it for the youth to access the internet.
LEMA company official Julian Muthusi said the solar technology is powerful and not only provides lighting but can also help preserve crucial vaccines and drugs that require power throughout.
“There are features that have been included in this system to increase that, it following the sun so there is that tracking mechanism it is following the GPS, in the morning it wakes up and then it follows up the sun all day until evening,” she said.
She said after every 90 seconds, the solar panel will turn to locate where the GPS is and where the sun is.
Through that, Muthusi said it maximises power production and makes it reliable.
She said the panel is fitted with a controller box aimed at locating where the sun is to increase the production of power.
The solar system can light an entire community which is why they have installed them not only in health facilities but also in schools, adding that installation takes only one day.
Once the power is produced, it is taken through cables to a cabinet system with eight batteries that can store eight kilowatts per hour.
The system she said, also has a WIFI and a monitoring system for intercepting illegal activities.
In an interview, she said they are bringing solutions to health care in Kilifi through solar-powered technology as the county has had reports of a high mortality rate.
She said currently, they have partnered with the Ministry of Health, County government of Kilifi, LVCT, Stawisha Pwani and USAID to bring power solutions to the healthcare facilities.
“This is not only for Kilifi but the whole of Kenya and Africa. We are looking for strategic partners with the stated stakeholders to bring the constant reliable and powerful technology in the health care facilities,” she said.