Six hospitals in Sierra Leone to receive solar energy systems to improve healthcare service, reduce pollution
Today at Freetown’s Ola During Children’s and Princess Christian Maternity Hospital, Dr. Austin Demby, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Health and Sanitation, unveiled a new project that will electrify six hospitals with decentralized solar photovoltaic (PV) systems with batteries.
These renewable energy systems will provide the hospitals with a reliable and less-polluting alternative to their current systems, helping improve the quality of healthcare delivery to patients. Currently, the hospitals rely on either polluting diesel generators or the main electricity grid, making them prone to power cuts that put patients’ lives at risk.
Located in Freetown, Kambia, Masanga, Kabala and Bonthe, the hospitals will receive a combined total of more than 0.6 megawatt-peak (MWp) of installed solar PV capacity with battery storage.
They were selected following detailed energy audits at major hospitals in the country done earlier this year. That study found that more than 1,000 health facilities in Sierra Leone need either a complete power solution or a back-up solution, requiring an investment of approximately USD 64 million.
Installation of the power solutions is scheduled for July-August 2023. The project is being implemented by Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) in partnership with the Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Health & Sanitation, the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, Crown Agents and EM-ONE Energy Solutions.
Dr. Austin Demby, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Health and Sanitation, said “The Government of Sierra Leone has recognized that reliable, sufficient electricity is a critical input to healthcare services. This project shows our commitment to ensuring hospitals are better equipped to keep people safe and healthy by harnessing the power of renewable energy.”
As an added benefit, the project was also designed to enhance employment and career opportunities for women in the local renewable energy sector. Twelve young women have already begun a specialized training programme that provides them with practical experience and classroom training on solar PV project implementation, including participating in the installation process at the hospitals.
“By showcasing how hospitals can be equipped with renewable and reliable energy solutions in an accelerated time frame, we hope to provide a model that can be used to electrify thousands of other health facilities across Sierra Leone and beyond,” said Madhusagar Singh, Project Manager (Powering Healthcare Project), Sierra Leone, SEforALL. “These solar energy systems can bring significant benefits to the delivery of health services, saving lives and improving health outcomes.”
Learn more about the project here.