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.
Third Report on Solar Power for Refugees in Bidibidi
By Ted Osuala cmf
Following our last report on the 11th of May 2022 where we hinted on redesigning the implementation of the Solar Power project for the Refugees at Bidibidi Refugee Settlement, we are happy to announce a ground-breaking event! With the contributions that have trickled in and support from our corporate partners who we reached out to, we have finalised plans to install 5.5 kilowatts of solar energy in a few weeks’ time at one of the Health Centres in Bidibidi.
As at today we have raised $3,162 only from 43 donations. With the kickstarting of the project by the installation in one Health Centre at least, we are looking forward to inspire more donations from our donors and partners. We remain unrelenting in the mobilisation of more resources for the project. Going by our redesigned plan of implementation we will be left with 3 Health Centres to be installed 5.5 kilowatts of solar power. Our hope is that before the end of this year we have blessed another Health Centre with 5.5 kilowatts also. Expect to receive loads of images of the installation and hand over.
Thanks, and remain blessed!
As initially reported on January 11, 2022, the Solar Power for Refugees in Bidibidi is a bold idea requiring the installation of 5.5 kilowatts of solar energy each in 4 health centres, 4 schools and 4 business hubs. There is no doubt that it requires a substantial lumpsum to initialize. However as at the 10th of May 2022, what has been raised is 2,162 USD only from 42 donations. This amount is insufficient to carry out any of the envisaged activity designed.
So, we are still mobilizing more resources and reaching out to our corporate partners to kickstart the project. As a result, we are redesigning the implementation by picking components of the project such as – solar power and computers for a school or solar power for a health centre or a business hub. This is to speed up the process of kickstarting the project as the donations keep trickling in. By doing this it will motivate and encourage other individuals to identify with the project. In this way, we may require about 15,000 USD to kickstart the project.
The Solar Power for Refugees in Bidibidi is a bold idea requiring the installation of 5.5 kilowatts of solar energy each in 4 health centres, 4 schools and 4 business hubs. There is no doubt that it requires a substantial lumpsum to initialize. According to the project proposed work plan – the initial activities involve the hiring of a consultant to do a baseline survey and hold an inception meeting with all the stakeholders – from the schools, the health centres and the business hubs. The baseline survey alone costs 2,730 USD while the stakeholders meeting will cost 2,325 USD. However as at the 10th of January 2022, what has been raised is 1,922 USD only from 38 donations. This amount is insufficient to carry out any of the envisaged activity designed.
So, we are still mobilizing more resources to kickstart the project. The only way we can start the project is by raising a substantial amount for the baseline survey, inception meeting, training of solar technical supervisors, purchase of materials and installation of 5.5 kilowatts at least in one of the units. The total cost for this is 40,000 USD.
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