Two volunteers of Energy Assistance accompanied by Rik Neirynk (Artsen zonder Vakantie) spent two weeks of their holidays to achieve this electrification project in Katako Kombe, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Sankuru province). The objective was to secure the supply of electricity for the operating room of the hospital with 4 kWp photovoltaic panels and storage batteries.
This region of central DRC is difficult to access. The equipment has been procured in Belgium and transported by cargo ship to Kinshasa. From there, it had to travel 1,300 kilometers on the river and finally by truck. The volunteers, after a long journey of 3 days (2 flights and 6 hours drive on tracks in the savannah and the rainforest), they arrived safely and ready to get to work.
Despite the usual technical difficulties and the adverse weather conditions (over 40°C during the day and storms in the evening) and thanks to the help of local technicians, the works have progressed at good pace.
After 8 days, the installation operates to the delight of the medical staff, the hospital patients and all the villagers.
Volunteers : Steff De Coster (Cofely Fabricom),Jelle Christiaens (GEM ENGIE)
Project Leaders :Benoît Braeckman en Roland Rosseel (gepensioneerden Electrabel)
Installation of solar panels for the education and health centre.
Mukumary is situated in the middle of nowhere in the province of East Kasaï on the Equator. The nearest “hamlet” is a 5 hours’ drive away. After a 3-day journey, departing from Brussels, the Energy Assistance volunteers were able to start work.
This “twofold” mission, finished by mid-May 2016, consisted of the installation of two solar kits, each 1950 kW, to provide electricity to the education and health centre in Mukumary.
The kit – photovoltaic panels and interior installation – had been bought locally at Kinshasa and proved to be fully functional after having fixed some minor transport damages, due to the last part of the trip through the bush.
An issue frequently encountered during this type of missions is the mounting of the solar panels on the roof. Most of the times, the roof beams are in very bad condition or the roofsurface itself is very undulating. Luckily, the team could count on the help and dynamism of the villagers and in particular the abbot Luhumbu, to solve the issue.
Our volunteers were truly satisfied that they had been able to bring the “electricity fairy” to this isolated community, thus not only improving the education and health standards but also the day-to-day life of woman as they have light in their kitchen now.
The whole project will improve the living standards and enable better and easier community life.
Volunteers : Freddy Arzée (retired Engie Fabricom), Marcel Bavay (retired ORES)
Project Leader : Freddy Arzée