Back in 2010, as part of our work in Zambia, SolarAid installed solar energy systems on clinics and schools. This month Karla Kanyanga, our Operations Director in Zambia, revisited some of the locations to deliver more solar products and to check on progress.

In 2010 we were not distributing solar lights as we do today. Through our social enterprise, SunnyMoney, we ran a macro program with 24 clinics that each received solar panels, batteries, an inverter and a fridge.

Sister Valeria from St Luke’s Hospital with the solar powered fridge

Karla explains:

“We recently visited St. Luke’s Hospital and met with Sister Valeria, the nurse in charge who has been at the hospital for 15 years. We supplied her with 17 Solar Home Systems and 24 SM100 solar lights, provided by part of a grant from Next Energy Foundation, as St. Luke’s currently have no lighting in most of their wards.

The hospital will be using the lights for a variety of things including security lighting outside and lighting their wards, especially the labour, delivery and paediatric wards and the operations theatre with the home systems. The SM100’s will be given to the night staff to carry with them so they don’t need to use candles.

As we were talking she mentioned that she knew of SunnyMoney as we supplied them with a solar fridge back in 2010. She went on to explain that, 8 years later, they are still using it for theatre medicine as well as their labour and delivery ward. They also had an 1.5W BareFoot Power Light, which was still working perfectly 8 years after we supplied it to them.

I absolutely loved the trip and am happy we picked them for part of the grant. They were so happy and excited about the lights and you can see they take care of them.

They have not had to replace the batteries or any other part of the fridge system so this is a great example of the reliable nature of solar power.

St Luke’s see between 25,000 and 40,000 patients every year! They are very well organised and professional. They had a woman needing emergency caesarean section while we were there and they got the meds out of the fridge we supplied. But to see what little they have to work with is heart breaking.”

If you can support SolarAid with even a small donation it will help us do more for clinics and schools throughout Zambia and Malawi.