MMS (Mothers and Midwives Support) called on E.A. for the electrification of 25 health and birthing centers on the island of Idjwi, DRCongo.
After the inauguration of AMISI in Panzi, our colleague and director Tony MdH went to the island of Idjwi to assess the needs, accompanied by the MMS manager (Claire Thibaut) and an administrator (V. Lemercier).
The visit of 8 centers allowed us to notice that they were all slightly electrified by small, outdated and unsuitable solar systems and that the electrical installation was insufficient and needed to be renovated.
The study of the project has been entrusted to Jacques H. and will be carried out when MMS will have obtained the budget to modernize the birthing centers. Furthermore, MMS will prioritize the centers to be equipped.
On Wednesday 28 September 2022, François Hollande, former French President, inaugurated the African Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery (AMISI) located in the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, South Kivu.
This new health structure, electrified by solar panels thanks to the support of the ENGIE Foundation and Energy Assistance, will serve as a setting for the treatment of women victims of sexual violence and other pathologies by minimally invasive surgery. It is also intended for the training of doctors from all over the African continent.
Doctors Denis Mukwege and Guy Bernard Cadière, who are pioneers of this technology in medicine, point out that they and their team have already treated 1,800 patients in the last 10 years.
For his part, François Hollande mentioned that this African institute is a reference in the world, and Energy Assistance is especially proud to have contributed to it.
Furthermore, Professor Guy Bernard Cadière reiterated his thanks to Energy Assistance and underlined the essential role and efficiency of our project manager Luc H.
It should also be noted that this health structure was inaugurated in the presence of the Minister of Health Jean-Jacques Mbungani, the Minister of Human Rights Albert Fabrice Puela and the Governor of South Kivu Théo Ngwabidje Kasi. Our General Manager, Tony Moens de Hase, was also invited.
At the end of August 2022, our colleagues Michaël dM and Pierre VK realized a triple mission!
The first step was to Kilengi, 2 days away from Kinshasa (and what a road!!!). Our two volunteers repaired the solar installation supplying the health center as well as the one supplying some classrooms which were not working anymore since the lightning struck in April 2021. They also replaced a solar pumping system that brings water from a well to the village center, to everyone’s great joy!
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In Kabinda, the second stage of this mission, our volunteers rehabilitated the photovoltaic system that powers the Radio Veritas transmitter. They also replaced the regulator and rebuilt the radio’s electrical system, which had become outdated. In this video, Radio Véritas thanks Energy Assistance
Supported by the Diocese of Kabinda, Radio Veritas is a socio-educational radio station that broadcasts over a range of about 250 km around Kabinda, in Kasai Oriental.
A few steps away from the radio station, our volunteers also repaired and restructured the solar panel installation of the youth Center, rebuilt the switchboard, revised the lightning conductor installation, and made an inventory of the electrical material needed to equip the premises.
Throughout this mission, Michaël and Pierre trained a team of technicians who will be in charge of the maintenance of the radio installations and the realization of the electrical installation of the Youth Center.
We thank Norbert Mervilde, director of the radio and the youth center, and his collaborators for the beautiful tribute to our late colleague Claude Gastout, who initiated this project and many others!
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Cibombo is a camp for Kasaians refugees expelled from Katanga, managed by the IPAMEC association supported by the Abbot Stanislas Kanda, about ten kilometers from Mbuji-Mayi.
Two Energy Assistance missions, in 2009 (project 163) and in 2014 (project 371), have provided photovoltaic installations and rainwater pumps to improve the quality of life of the 15,000 inhabitants of this camp.
During this third stage, our two volunteers carried out an inventory of the installations. They also analyzed the needs and collected the necessary elements to develop a larger project, including the power supply of a hospice under construction.
Back in Mbuji-Mayi, they were warmly received by the Governor of Kasai Province.
At last, a very short visit to Kinkole allowed them to collect useful information (layout, needs, dimensions…) to allow the two volunteers who will go there very soon to prepare their mission.
A big thank you to our volunteer colleagues Michaël dM and Pierre VK for their efficiency and for this fantastic mission!
Our 4 volunteer colleagues Olivier D.R., Sébastien V., Laurent R. and Stephan D. have successfully completed their mission in Notsé, 90 km from Lomé, Togo.
During these two weeks of missions, organized in partnership with the local association ‘Soleil des Nations’, they equipped the orphanage, the school and a well with photovoltaic installations.
Our volunteers were warmly thanked by the local authorities and the result of this project was widely reported by local television and radio stations as well as by the Togolese press agency, ATOP, whose article you will find below:
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.”