The SunFarmer team is proud to announce that we've completed installation of 6 solar energy systems at health clinics in the remote Western region of Nepal! The clinics are run by the government of Nepal, and supported by our partner and award-winning nonprofit organization, Possible. Prior to these solar systems, three of the clinics currently had zero access to energy, and three clinics had only a few hours of low quality grid power each day. I wanted to share some of the stories that we heard directly from the midwives and health clinic staff, illustrating how crucial energy is to delivering quality healthcare:
- The midwives from Lungra Health Clinic told us that they had ALREADY delivered a baby using the ceiling lights from solar, and were relieved that they no long had to use flashlights held between their teeth due to lack of light!
- When problems arise during delivery, the midwife at Hattikot Health Clinic has to gather community members to carry the mother 5 hours to the nearest hospital. Simple equipment such as an oxygen machine and suction machine can prevent having to make this dangerous trek
- Payal Health Clinic has been denied medical equipment from the government because they had zero electricity. They plan to request basic equipment such as a vaccine refrigerator and nebulizer
- Finally, snakes are an issue for some of the clinics during the rainy season, and without lighting the patients and staff are sometimes afraid to go to the clinic at night. Solar powered light will help ensure that people feel safe going to the clinic
It has been a long road to get here - properly designing and inspecting the solar systems, ensuring high quality components were used.... and the long and winding mountain roads were literally a challenge for both the solar equipment and for us to reach! In addition, we secured financial support from a variety of sources - SunEdison, the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre, Terralog, and over 175 supporters via our Indiegogo campaign.
Our work is not over yet - we will have to work hard with the communities to ensure the systems are properly cared for and maintained. We look forward to sharing updates in the coming weeks and months - until then, please enjoy some photos below!