Malawi expects more public hospitals to have uninterrupted power charged by solar power in a move government hope will save lives across the country. Minister of Health and Population Atupele Muluzi has disclosed.
Muluzi informed Parliament that with support from the Global Fund, Malawi government has procured 85 power kits ranging from 5 kilowatts to 100 kilowatts that are being installed in various facilities throughout the country.
“The installation started about five weeks ago and will be completed by 20th December, 2017. I have a list of all those 85 facilities which have had solar power kits installed that will be able to focus on essential services,” said Muluzi.
He added: “ It may not be sufficient to cover all the requirements of the facilities but it will also go a long way in relieving some of the pressure that has been on the gensets especially for the essential services.”
Malawi’s electrical grid has taken an big hit leaving hospitals relying on diesel generators.
Muluzi said, moving forward, the plan is that with the support from a Canadian partner, all the health in Kasungu and Chitipa are going to be powered by solar very soon.
“This is the whole district of Kasungu and Chitipa, to start with. However, under the Global Fund grant in 2018, we are targeting the remaining facilities. We started with 85 facilities and we are now going to the remaining ones next year.
“But then we are also looking at a more integrated system that allows us, alongside private companies that we are in discussions with, to make sure that the central hospitals and districts facilities, from next year, should be mostly dependent on solar power as opposed to diesel gen sets which could be more expensive…” said Muluzi on the plan in terms of mitigating some of the challenges that have been there in terms of power.
“ I must say that so far progress of installation is around 40 per cent with the current 85 facilities and in the coming year we are also going to include the additional facilities,” he added.