When inventiveness and determination combine to help a community in Kinshasa
The Kikwit region in DR Congo is a region that Energy Assistance knows well. Our volunteers have carried out an umpteenth project to electrify a health centre for the Sisters of Mary in Kwango in 2018. This congregation and that of the Sisters of Saint Andrew have also asked us for two other projects that we hope to carry out soon.
Parallel to these projects, the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Andrew was asking for our help in studying the feasibility of a solar installation to complement grid power for a new Community House in Kinshasa.
In agreement with their architect, it was decided to connect large consumer appliances such as fridges, freezers, pumps, etc. to the public network and to use a solar network for appliances that require less energy or that have to operate 24 hours a day, and for lighting. We then helped them to size the installation and obtain the best quotations.
Another way, in these times of crisis, to meet the objectives of our association by putting the skills and know-how of our members at the service of humanitarian projects, even at a distance.
Thanks to our volunteer experts in charge of the study of this project : Michel M., Jacques H. and Léon C. (from the companies ORES & ENGIE Solutions)
For this last project in 2018, our volunteers, Xavier D., Paul H., Florent P. and Armando O. S. went in Ethiopia, in rural area of the Mirab Abaya woreda (district), more than 100 km away from national electric grid. Electrification with solar photovoltaic technology is particularly appropriate thanks to the excellent solar radiation throughout the year ranging from 5-5.6 kWh/m2.
The custom clearance took a very long time and we had to postpone the execution of the mission several times. Arrived in Addis Abeba, our 4 volunteers took a local flight to Arba Minch. It took then almost a full day of drive to arrive to Shella Dida.
The The Shella Dida High School is composed of 5 buildings in concrete, rather recent.
The electrical wiring was completely redone and the photovoltaic panels installed.
Our volunteers went then to Done Ela,where they electrified a High School composed of 4 buildings made of wood and earth. Although the living conditions in these two regions are extremely poor, our volunteers have received a wonderful welcome from the local population.
Both projects, largely funded by ENGIE Foundation, where performed in collaboration with the Arba Minch University, who contributed by transporting the equipment from Arba Minch to the sites and providing technician to help for the installation and ensure the follow-up for the sustainability of the project.
Thank you to the volunteers of Energy Assistance and all those who have contributed to the success of this mission.
« Where there is light, there is LIFE », said a wise men met during this mission.
This first mission to Guinea, in the Kankan region, Mandiana prefecture, took place in 3 stages.
It is in the small village of Gbillin (900 inhabitants), about 15 km from any roads suitable for motorized vehicles, that our volunteers first dropped their luggages and tool bags. The program : electrify the health clinic with photovoltaic panels and install a fridge, to keep vaccines and medicines. The village’s primary school also received the same type of equipment, allowing evening classes and catch-up classes. In fact, one of the first students of the school who had completed his studies at university. A very symbolic moment !
With this experience, the team performed similar missions in record time and always in a good mood in 2 neighboring villages, Loïla (3900 inhabitants) and Faranindoun (8447 inhabitants), each building bringing its share of surprises and technical specificities.
In the evening, the women sang and danced, to the sound of calabashes and djembes, in front of the health clinic, happy to be treated and give birth in better conditions.
A big thanks to the residents of Gbillin, Loïla and Faranindoun for their help in carrying out these projects and for their generous welcome. Thank you Dramane K., electrician in Kankan and our guide and translator on site. Thank you Dominique K., Marcel B., Geoffroy R. and Sylvia B. for their dedication on the field and thank you Roland R. for the good follow-up of the project.
This new mission in Benin took place in the Zou province, on the outskirts of the city of Bohicon, the second largest city in the country and located 120 km north of Cotonou.
At the request of the Bohicon town hall, 3 sites have been equipped with electrical installations and photovoltaic panels:
– two buildings grouping the 6 years of public primary school
– a large building serving as a community hall and youth center
– a new building serving as a dormitory for students in agronomy and market gardening.
Throughout their stay, the 5 volunteers of EA were superbly supported and motorized by the local authorities and were thus able to devote all of their energy to the realization of the projects.
The joy and emotion of the schoolchildren and teachers when discovering the lighting in their classrooms was priceless. At Lokozoum, especially, shouts of joy were even heard when the lights were on! An experience that gave the volunteers chills.
By making the final adjustment of the outdoor floodlights, on each of the three sites, and seeing the joy on the faces and the reflection of the lights in the eyes, our volunteers took the measure of their work!
A great human adventure for this EA team composed of Patrick D., Djuneyt C., Serge G., Juanito F., and the project manager Freddy A.