Solar Aid Zambia

Provision of Solar Aid facilities in Zambia


SOLAR LIGHTS PROJECT - ZAMBIA

Update 6th July 2017                                             

In the last few weeks the solar lights paid for by the Club and supplied by SolarAid have been installed under the joint supervision of SolarAid and the Rotary Club of Lusaka to light up, during the usual 12 hours of darkness, 14 large clinics and 12 smaller ones in and around the large rural areas within reach of Lusaka which were otherwise relying on kerosene lamps or candles as there is no mains electricity available. The doctor in overall charge is collating the results and those for the first month will be provided in the next week or two. 

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For ease of answering the Grants questions, the solar light project has been divided into two phases.

Phase1 was mainly about distributing portable solar lamps to schools and orphanages. This work was done through Rotarians, Rotaractors and Interactors from the Italian and the American International Schools. Under this phase, the furthest distance was Choma town located to the south of Lusaka approximately 290KM from Lusaka by road. In all cases under phase1, the lamps were donated to institutions as opposed to individuals. Lamps donated to schools are being used by pupils in boarding school, day scholars, and the teaching and non-teaching staff. This means that for day scholars, the solar lamps are not only being used by the pupils but the whole families in their various localities whenever they have an opportunity to carry the lamps home! Naturally, this has a multiplier effect on the total number of beneficiaries for the lamps. Though meant for study, the lamps are used for purposes of lighting up the huts with no health risks or the risk of fires associated with candles and kerosene lamps!

Phase 2 involved distributing both portable and fixed solar lamps to residents of Nkeyema District which included a 24hr clinic complete with admission wards for patients, a secondary school and Traditional Birth Attendants (Traditional mid wives). Nkeyema District is located to the west of Lusaka approximately 380KM from Lusaka by road. Most habitants of Nkeyema district are poor.

The local clinic is the only health centre in the district. It has a maternity ward, female ward and male ward. The clinic is not yet connected to the electricity national grid. Deliberately, the fixed solar lamp was fitted in the maternity wing while the rest of the wards and administration were given the portable lamps. The medical cases at the clinic are quiet high during the rainy season.

The same can be said about the secondary school. Although officially it is not a boarding school, it admits pupils from outside the district. These pupils rent small thatched houses within the vicinity of the school which they use as boarding houses. The school and the surrounding areas are yet to be connected to the national electricity grid.

In the case of the Traditional midwives, whenever there is no call for duty, they use the portable solar lamps to light up their huts. The average family size is 8 including children and adults.

Having given the background, the specific grant questions have been answered as follows:

PHASE 1

Q2: How many people benefited from this project?

ANSWER: Approx 1,000 people (due to the multiplier effect)

Q3: Who were the beneficiaries, how were they impacted by this project and what humanitarian need was met?

ANSWER: (i) The beneficiaries were boarding school pupils, day scholars together with their families, Teachers together with their families, and orphans.

(ii) The impact of the project was felt by especially the school going children by way of improved and longer study hours free from the usual toxic kerosene lamps. The impact on orphans is two-fold: longer study hours for those that attend school and being able to access clean light in times when there was no commercial power.

(iii) The Humanitarian need that was met. In the absence of solar lights, the beneficiaries use the highly toxic and dangerous kerosene aided lamps. Therefore the humanitarian need met was by way the beneficiaries leading healthier lives and more importantly improving their lives through education.

Q4: How many Rotarians participated in the projects?

ANSWER: 6 Rotarians, 6 Rotaractors and 21 Interactors from two schools.

Q5: What did they do?

ANSWER: (i) They gave their time

(II) They provided transport and fuel to and from project sites.

(iii) They combed vast communities in search of worthy beneficiaries

(iv) They demonstrated how to use and maintain the solar lamps.

PHASE 2

Q2: How many people benefited from this project?

ANSWER: Approx 5,000 people (due to the multiplier effect especially for the clinic and the traditional midwives)

Q3: Who were the beneficiaries, how were they impacted by this project and what humanitarian need was met?

ANSWER: (i) The beneficiaries were school going children together with their families, Teachers together with their families, Traditional Birth Attendants together with their clients and patients at the clinic together with the care givers.

(ii) The impact of the project on school going children has been by way of improved and longer study hours free from the usual toxic kerosene lamps. The impact on the clinic is two-fold: admitted patients together with the care givers are now able to access clean light and most importantly the expecting mothers are able to give birth in a safer environment. Also, the traditional midwives have safer journeys to their work stations at night.

(iii) The Humanitarian need that was met. In the absence of solar lights, the beneficiaries use the highly toxic and dangerous kerosene aided lamps. Therefore the humanitarian need has been met is the ability to lead healthier lives (especially the newly born babies) and more importantly being able to lead better their lives through education (for the scholars).

Q4: How many Rotarians participated in the projects?

ANSWER: 8 Rotarians.

Q5: What did they do?

ANSWER: (i) They gave their time

(II) They provided transport and fuel to and from the project sites.

(iii) They combed the communities in search of worthy beneficiaries

(iv) They demonstrated how to use and maintain the solar lamps.

(v) They installed the fixed solar lights complete with the solar panel at the clinic.

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