By equipping wells with solar installations in villages or near schools, Energy Assistance supports local populations and encourages reforestation.
The respect of the environment, celebrated all over the world on June 5th, is at the heart of Energy Assistance’s concerns.
In Bloc Sefa, Senegal, since the electrification of the well by our volunteers, the schools have rehabilitated the vegetable gardens!
At the elementary school, the students, supervised by the environmental managers elected by the school management committee, are in charge of the garden.
The production is consumed in the school canteen and the surplus is sold to feed the school cooperative which manages the school supplies grants. This alternative pedagogy of initiations to gardening techniques is an own component initiated by the school and adds to the Senegalese program.
In Ifesfas, Morocco, the 20m3 tank is filled, thanks to the solar pump installed by our volunteers and allows the irrigation of the market garden. The planting of trees by unemployed youths of the village has also started!
The Douhar of Ifesfas is located at 1800m altitude on the foothills of the Atlas. Halfway between Marrakech and Agadir, it is an essentially agricultural and olive growing region.
In this context, the Darna association, Brussels, called upon E.A. to supply the solar panels and to put into service the solar installation. This solar pump and its reservoir will allow the irrigation of market gardening land and orchards, which will be under the responsibility of unemployed young people of the village.
The inhabitants of the local cooperative ‘Louda Agadir’ have taken care of the construction of the technical room, the trenches for the cables and pipes as well as the tank of about 20m³.
To power the 5.5kw (or 7.5 HP) pump, the installation of the 32 solar panels of 345 Wp and the inverter/frequency converter were installed by the local company, DIMADIS of Agadir, all supervised by our volunteer Freddy A. who went to the site at the end of March for the technical reception and of course, to share his expertise once again.
Thank you all for this great collaboration and thank you to Louacine for its generous welcome!
As indicated in the previous news (meeting with Dr Mukwege), EA is in charge of the energetic equipment of the new operating room of the hospital of Panzi. For the realization and the installation on the spot, EA works in partnership with the Congolese firm GoShop, which will be able to ensure an after-sales service. This work is supervised remotely by Luc H.
. Bloc opératoire de l’hôpital de Panzi
As the solar installation is already well underway, it was decided to carry out a verification mission of the installations already completed in the building to ensure that the study plans were well followed and to identify any modifications that would be necessary to ensure the success of this installation.
After a day and night of travel to Kamembe, via Kigali, and then about one hour’s drive to Bukavu, on the other side of the border, our two volunteers, Dominique T. and José J., were warmly welcomed to Panzi by Ghislain Baholere (Dr. Mukwege’s assistant – international relations coordinator). They had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Mukwege himself and then with Professor Guy-Bernard Cadière.
Before the mission started, several problems had already been highlighted, including a wrong choice of electrical cables for the cables that were to be embedded in the walls, as well as a wrong positioning of the solar panels on the roof, which did not allow rainwater to run off via the gutters.
The various visits to the worksite allowed us to take stock of the rooms already equipped and those that still need to be equipped. They also revealed some other problems, such as a lack of ventilation of the batteries and some missing or badly positioned plugs.
A heavy storm also allowed us to examine the water flow on the panels in a real situation, but unfortunately also revealed a water leak in a future operating room, as well as in a corridor under the roof ridge.
Different measurements carried out at different times of the day and sunlight, have confirmed, among other things, that the autoclaves may not be able to be supported by the solar installation and that the earthing of the operating block must be improved.
The different solutions and decisions concerning the different points of attention were of course taken during the meeting at the end of the mission.
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During this mission, our volunteers also had the opportunity to visit the Dorcas house, a transit center that welcomes, cares for, accompanies and trains the women operated on in Panzi, for which EA also studied the feasibility of a photovoltaic installation. This on-site visit allowed us to better understand the different roof slopes and to suggest a better positioning of the panels, to find a location for the technical room, to determine the necessary cable lengths and to solve some other minor problems.
A week full of meetings and solutions found for this project!
Thanks again to all the volunteers involved in this ambitious project for their unfailing commitment!
On March 10, Tony Moens de Hase and Jean-Pierre Clamadieu met with Dr. Denis Mukwege during the Global Positive Forum.
The latter congratulated and thanked the President of the ENGIE Foundation as well as the General Manager of Energy Assistance for the remarkable work done by the volunteers of Energy Assistance and the teams on site, supervised remotely by the project manager Luc Hermant.
A short review of the Panzi project:
The Panzi hospital in DR Congo is, thanks to the action of Dr. Denis Mukwege, the reference hospital specialized, among others, in the gynecological reconstruction of women survivors of sexual violence. This practice has unfortunately become a weapon of war in the region.
Energy Assistance has been asked by the ENGIE Foundation to provide a solution to the shortage of energy necessary for the functionning of the hospital.
This project is certainly one of the largest and most complex, both by the size of the installation and by the number of stakeholders and costs involved in the project, in the form of a cooperation Foundation ENGIE – Energy Assistance Belgium, the Luxembourg Red Cross, the CHU Saint-Pierre of Brussels, the City of Brussels.
In 2019, a first evaluation mission by our volunteer Jean-Paul Van Herck, allowed to define the needs as well as the different technical possibilities. This was followed by numerous meetings initiated by the project leader, Luc Hermant, and the General Manager, Tony Moens de Hase, with the various associations participating in the project as well as the general contractor and Professor Cadière, to whom Dr. Mukwege has asked to carry out this new operating block, in order to distribute the roles, define the limits of intervention of each and coordinate the work.
The works will start in 2021 with the energetic equipment of the new operating block, including 6 operating rooms, recovery rooms and offices. Energy Assistance is acting as an advisor to the Engie Foundation in Paris and is studying the sizing of the solar installations. For the realization and the installation on site, EA works in partnership with the Congolese firm GoShop, in charge of the installation of the material and which will then be able to ensure an after-sales service.
A work control mission has recently taken place and the installation on site will take place shortly.
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At the end of December, 4 new projects were completed in Koutoukpa (Togo), 180 km from Lomé.
The health post has been equipped with a solar installation allowing the production of electricity to power some medical devices, the fridge, to store medicines and vaccines, as well as the lighting in the different care, delivery and rest rooms.
Photovoltaic installations have also been installed in the elementary school, the secondary school and its administrative building, as well as the school farm. Evening classes can be held there.
These 4 buildings have been equipped with 450 WC solar panels, an OPZV OKAYA 24 x 2V/300 Ah battery pack and Victron inverters.
The covid-19 pandemic having caused a significant delay of these 4 projects and not facilitating the travel, the realization of these installations was entrusted to the local electricians of the company ARESS for the electrical and solar part.
The progress of the work was followed on a daily basis by our project manager, Freddy A., through the exchange of photos and videos showing the different phases of the work, the laying of the casing, the laying of the cables, the connection of the appliances and the electrical boxes.
This way of proceeding remotely from day to day (sometimes even from hour to hour) is not always easy, neither for the project manager nor for the local workforce, and requires a lot of exchange and adaptation, but allows our volunteers to share their expertise and know-how.
A short mission, in February 2022, allowed us to control and receive the installations on site.
This new mission, carried out end of January in Kenya by our volunteer colleagues Gregory H., Antoine D. and Tony MdH., allowed the electrical securing of a dryer and dehumidifier for spirulina.
These devices are essential to the production of spirulina produced by this Kenyan farm, set up by the association ‘Secteur 10’ in 2015, association active in the fight against hunger in Africa. The spirulina is then free of charge distributed to deficient or malnourished children in nearby clinics and schools. For this reasons, the association Secteur 10 has requested the help of Energy Assistance to overcome the numerous power cuts of the Kenyan electrical network, which hinder the drying and the production of spirulina.
After nearly 3 years of work to realize the feasibility study, the study of the needs, the purchase of the material and the sending to Kenya with its multiple rebounds related to problems of customs clearance and covid-19, the mission of our volunteers could finally be programmed at the beginning of 2022.
Warmly welcomed by the team of Secteur 10 on the spot, our volunteers, with the help of their hosts, installed 3 WKS inverters of 5kVA each, 10 Lithium batteries of 2.4 kWh as well as 36 panels of 320 Wp which allow the spirulina farm to be independent from an energy point of view.
And of course, this week of work ended with the necessary training of the local managers in the operation of the installation.
Discover the video of the mission by clicking on the image below:
Thanks to Gregory H., Antoine D. and Tony MdH for their dedication and thanks to Secteur 10 for the welcome, for this beautiful collaboration and for the beautiful Energy Assistance logo hand painted by the beneficiaries.
Our beneficiaries thank us:
“Just a quick email to thank you for making the installation of the photovoltaic panels possible on our spirulina farm in Kenya. The mission on site ended mid-February for the Energy Assistance volunteers. Since then, everything has been working and the time with them went very well.
We are delighted to be totally independent from an energy point of view, to no longer have to suffer power cuts from the network, and also to be able to make big savings (about 1500 to 2000€ / year). The funds will be used to finance concrete humanitarian actions rather than to finance energy.
So, a BIG thank you ! And we look forward to being in touch again.”
Claude G., one of our oldest volunteers, opens his memory box for us!
10 years ago, E.A. realized one of its most important projects, in partnership with SNEL Dept ER, important in terms of budget but also in terms of time: indeed, it took no less than 7 years and 3 missions to realize it.
Thanks to the efforts of Claude G. and Raphaël M. as well as Dominique K., Marcel B., Maxime P. who accompanied them on mission, the village of Kapolowe, with its Reference Hospital, its School Center and Boarding School for girls, its Primary and Secondary School Center for boys, its fishing village, its population (20,000 inhabitants) saw the “night light” on November 25, 2011!
During this long period of pandemic, a new project was developed in Kolwezi, DRC, consisting in equipping 3 buildings of collective interest: a maternity, an orphanage and a school.
The maternity hospital has been equipped with 3.3kWp panels, a 5kVA inverter charger and a set of 520A/h batteries, allowing to secure the lighting as well as the ultrasound scanner and some other devices. This allows the patients to receive improved care day and night.
In addition, the orphanage and school were also equipped with 3.9kWp of panels, a 5kVA inverter and a 1000A/h battery set, which will power the lighting of the orphanage as well as the school’s computer class.
This project could be carried out thanks to a great collaboration: the transport of the material was taken care of by the Belgian partner Philantros, who was also the initiator of the request for intervention. The work was carried out by the local partner, Jean Ilunga Asomwé, head of the association that runs the project. In addition, our volunteer project manager Jacques H. supervised the work remotely via WhatsApp, in line with E.A.’s objective of transmitting the know-how of its members.
Thanks to the technical skills of Mr. Ilunga, the commissioning could be carried out successfully. A control mission will be organized in early 2022.
Located in the center of Togo, about 350 km from Lomé, the medical center “La Source” in Sokodé called on Energy Assistance to secure its electrical installation. This region of Togo is supplied from Ghana but is subject to numerous power cuts.
This medical center also includes a maternity ward, an analysis laboratory, an X-ray room, an operating room, pediatric and cardiology consultations and welcomes approximately 100 patients per day. There is no doubt that stability and continuity of energy are important to ensure the various services.
The 2018 preparatory visit was critical in preparing for the mission and allowed for near-optimal sizing of the equipment.
A co-financing of almost 2/3 of the project by the beneficiaries, supported by doctors from the Ardennes who regularly visit the hospital, allowed the project of the installation of solar panels and a no-break solution.
Delayed for almost two years by the covid-19 health crisis, the mission was finally able to take place in the first half of November 2021, with our fellow volunteers Benoît R., Christoph H. and a newcomer, Fabrice N.
The hospital was equipped with 30 panels delivering 9 kilowatt-peak, 24 high capacity batteries and 2 inverters of 5 kW each, managing the different energy sources: solar, batteries and Compagnie Energie Electrique du Togo.
Apart from the numerous PCR tests to be undergone and a few missing lightning fuses, the mission went very well, especially thanks to the valuable local help, both the center’s management staff and the local workers who participated in the various works!
These works were often the occasion to train the locals to new techniques for the future maintenance of the installations, which they will also be able to use for their own future.
Thank you to our volunteers and their hosts for this great mission realised beginning of November 2021 !
After long months of waiting due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it became essential to realize these 6 projects in Casamance, Senegal, in order to support the local population. Indeed, the majority of the projects concerned the power supply of health posts.
In Adéane, a town of 9,000 inhabitants near Ziguinchor, the 5625 Wh installation with 15 PVs of 375 Wp now supplies the health post, but also the reception, the pharmacy, the laboratory and the accommodation for the staff on duty, and provides the electricity needed to operate the lighting as well as some medical equipment and a fridge for storing vaccines and medicines.
In the surrounding villages of Tambacoumba and Banghagha, the two dispensaries have been equipped with photovoltaic installations of respectively 2250 Wh with 6 PV of 375 Wp and 3750 Wh with 10 PV of 375 Wp, allowing to ensure a proximity care of the patients day and night.
On the other side of the Casamance River, inBloc Sefa, 15 km from Sedhiou, a 3240 Wh photovoltaic installation with 12 PVs of 270Wp recovered, also equips the health post. The elementary school and the secondary school also benefit from photovoltaic installations of respectively 2720 Wh with 8 new PV of 340 Wh and 4080 Wp with 12 PV of 340 Wp allowing to organize remedial classes in the evening.
In these 2 schools, the wells have also been equipped with solar pumps, each powered by 4 PV of 260Wp recovered, which allows them to ensure basic hygiene but also to rehabilitate the vegetable gardens around these buildings.
All the solar and electrical equipment was purchased from local companies and these 6 projects were carried out by local companies: ARESS, for the solar part and Mané & Frères for the electrical installation in Adéane and neighboring villages, and in Bloc Sefa: Synergie Plus and the NQE hardware store in Ziguinchor.
These different work sites were supervised remotely and almost live, by video and photos, by our volunteer project manager Freddy A. (Thanks Whatsapp and Gmail 😃). Faithful to its objectives, Energy Assistance continues to transmit the know-how of its members.
At the beginning of October, our two volunteers Freddy A. and Marcel B. went to Casamance for a short mission of control and commissioning of the installations, warmly welcomed by the local populations.
In conclusion, we can only be satisfied with this first post-pandemic mission! Thank you to ARESS, Mané & Frères, Synergie plus and NQE for their seriousness and this beautiful collaboration and thank you to our volunteers for their unfailing commitment!