Installation of the solar panels
As hinted in the last report that John Paul II Justice and Peace Centre (JPIIJPC) was on the verge of installing solar energy in 2 Health Centres before the end of the year 2022, we are happy to report that we achieved our target of installing a total of 11 kilowatts of solar energy in 2 Health Centres in Bidibidi – namely Twajiji and Igamara Health Centre Level III. Thanks to the able leadership of the Director of John Paul II Justice and Peace Centre, Mr. Alfred Avuni, whose guidance led to the restructuring and segmentation of the project concept for easy takeoff.
We are quite grateful to GlobalGiving who brought our cause for the refugees in Bidibidi to global attention such that some of our corporate donors became interested and passionate to give us a push commencing with the health sector of the project.
In the month of September and December respectively, John Paul II Justice and Peace Centre (JPIIJPC) with a team of technicians of solar service providers, after 3 days of hard work in each case, succeeded in installing 5 kilowatts and 6 kilowatts of solar energy at Twajiji and Igamara Health Centres respectively. The Project leader – Fr. Ted Osuala cmf, with the team of technicians, passed by the bishop’s residence at Arua to show him some of the solar equipment before proceeding to Bidibidi refugee settlement for the commencement of the installation works.
Working in collaboration with UNHCR who coordinate the affairs of the refugees, International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the Office of the Prime Minister Bidibidi Refugee Settlement, a certificate of completion and handover note was signed by the in-charge of the Health Centre, the JPIIJPC project leader, IRC and UNHCR representatives present on Sunday evening of 18th September 2022, and on Monday evening, 12th of December 2022 respectively.
With the installation of the solar energy systems, the challenge posed by the lack of sufficient power has been solved in these Health Centres. It was marvelous to behold the joy of the Health workers, patients, and partners at the completion and switching-on of the system. Just within weeks of completing the project, the preliminary feedback is that the number of patients to the Health Centres has increased especially on the issue of delivery of pregnant mothers at night. The solar energy now helps power the health centres so that previously inaccessible services (diagnostic machines, oxygen concentrators, computers, etc.) due to inadequate supply of energy are now made available to the refugees at the health centres.
Snippets of comments from partners and beneficiaries
“This office promises to collaborate and fully support JPIIJPC in the implementation of this solar power project for the benefit of the Refugees who are mainly the beneficiaries of the services at this Health Centre III and the surrounding host communities.” (Gilbert, Assistant Protection Officer, Office of the prime minister/Department of Refugees, Bidibidi Refugee Settlement, via email, 8th August 2022).
“Thanks for your efforts in uplifting Bidibidi Health Facilities” (Samuel, UNHCR, Yumbe, via WhatsApp message, 14th December 2022).
“The power has had some of the benefits below:
- Ease of delivering babies for midwives at night.
- Improved visibility around the facility
- Improved security at night hours both from intruders and attacks from snakes and scorpions.
- 24 hours services being provided by the health centre to the beneficiaries.
- Improved staff recreation through television use.
We also have plans to request our management key medical equipment like oxygen concentrator and refrigerator for storing vaccines and insulin.” (Ezekiel, In-charge, Health Centre III, Igamara, via WhatsApp message, 24th December 2022).
“We are particularly grateful for your efforts in supporting the solar projects for our health centres, as they have made a significant impact in improving the wellbeing of our community” (Hakim, Health Manager, IRC, Bidibidi, via WhatsApp message, 25th December 2022)
JPIIJPC is grateful to the bishop of Arua diocese, under whose jurisdiction is the Bidibidi Refugee Settlement (one of the biggest refugee camps in the whole world), who has been very supportive of the services of JPIIJPC in the settlements. We thank all our sponsors, donors, partners and collaborators in supporting us to make this possible. We are optimistic that with your support we will provide more solar energy to the neediest health facilities, and extend to the Schools and Business Hubs that are not yet catered for at the moment in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement.
Installation, solar panels
Installations at the control room
Signing of completion certificate
After-installation picture showing solar panels
Picture with Health workers with project banner
Solar power control room
Courtesy call to the Bishop of Arua
Training on solar energy maintenance
Signing of certificate and handover ceremony
Picture shoot with health workers
Project leader talking during handover ceremony
Demonstration at the Control room during training
The solar panels installed
Installation control room staff section completed
Control room staff section ready
Solar panels for staff quarters installed
Staff quarter section powered
Control room main section completed
Control room main section Igamara ready
UNHCR Personnel visit during installation works