Raising funds to sustainably power hospitals in DRC using solar installation systems.
Nelson / Tasman
The few hospitals there are in rural DRC are reliant on diesel generators that are too expensive to run for any length of time.
By installing solar power systems we can give a strategic hospital the opportunity to use things like ultrasounds, surgical lighting, general anaesthetics, cauterising scalpels and other life-saving equipment.
In 2016 we raised enough to install a 2.4kW solar system at Lwanza Hospital, providing essential 230v electricity to 3 theatres and basic LED lighting throughout the hospital.
In 2017 we put a total of 5kW Solar into Mulongo Hospital, which treats over 50,000 patients each year!
In 2018 we installed a 3kW Solar and Mains stabilised system into Papillon Hospital in Lubumbashi. This hospital already had mains power, but only on random days and times. The new system tops up reserve battery levels when mains are available, and charges these same batteries via Solar Power when mains are absent.
We did not travel to DRC in 2019 for health reasons.
In 2020 we will be returning and visiting all installations in order to check and maintain everything that has been put into service. All funds raised this year will be used to maintain, strengthen and improve systems already installed. Good quality, "hard to get" Solar equipment will be purchased in NZ and taken over when we travel.
100% of donations given will be spent in the DRC. No money given to this cause will be spent on administration, travel or indirect expenses.
We are involved in the Congo in support of indigenous work there, including education and health care. We have established good contacts locally and travel over each year (at our own expense) to ensure that any assistance given is used as intended.
The Tasman Community Trust was formed in 2013 to establish community based services in our district. The Trust is registered with the Charities Commission, being non-profit in nature and intent—all funds received are used in the local community. We are registered with the Charities Commission (CC50427), so some donations made to the Trust can be used for tax rebate purposes (our financial records are a matter of public record). Please note that donations made for the Solar Project in DR Congo will be receipted, but such donations do not qualify for tax credits in New Zealand due to the fact that the "end use" is not for the direct benefit of New Zealanders.
Congo Activities in 2018-2019 26 January 2020
It has been a while since we updated you all on what has been done in 2018 and is being planned in 2020 (2019 was a "rest year" for health reasons)!
During our visit in 2018 we installed a 3kW Solar and Mains stabilised system into Papillon Hospital in Lubumbashi. This hospital already had mains power, but only on random days and times. The new system tops up reserve battery levels when mains are available, and charges these same batteries via Solar Power when mains are absent.
In addition, we installed a similar 3Kw system into the main administration building of the organisation we work. CDLA coordinates humanitarian help in the provinces nearby. This system has enabled the regular use of the internet via a cellular WiFi system, something that is integral to the containerised state-of-the-art X-Ray machine on site that has been generously donated by a partner in Ireland. This has revolutionised the capability for our partners to do affordable imaging for patients, the results of which can be sent around the world for interpretation (if necessary). All images are instantly digitised into High Definition files (no more old-style X-Ray plates needed!). Of course you can only do this if you have reliable power!
2020 will see us visit all installations in order to make sure everything is maintained and fully functional. The bulk of our installations will last for 20 years, but things like batteries do need replacing from time to time. In addition, some of our sites are prone to lightening strikes. For example, Mulongo and Mitwaba Hospital sites have both been hit by lightening during 2019. Fortunately, both sites are equipped with lightening rods and surge protectors, which minimised damage. However, replacement of some panels and controllers was necessary as a result of these events. This all costs money!
We are so thankful for those who continue to support this valuable work in a country where 90% of the population do not have access to electricity. Your help enables us to make a real difference by equipping desperately needed hospitals with reliable electricity.
Thanks so much for your donation! You can rest assured that all money raised for this project will go toward the actual installation and will NOT be used for administration, travel or other personal expenses.
Thanks so much for your generous support! We are in the final stages of planning our next trip over in the second week of May. Your money will all be put to good use for the new solar install at Mulongo Hospital. Please check our website for updates as the installation gets underway. www.kiwisinthecongo.org.nz