KARAWA, DR CONGO (August 2, 2012) – Newly installed solar panels have enabled the hospital here to have electricity nearly every day.
Until last month, the hospital in Karawa could use electricity for little more than one and a half hours a day several times a week. Generators that required large amounts of fuel, which is expensive, were required to keep the lights on.
“The nurses are loving it,” said Marta Klein, a physician assistant working at Karawa.
There are now working lights in the main room of pediatrics, maternity, and med and isolation rooms. “Even a little light makes such a big difference,” Klein said. More rooms also will be wired.
Paul Carlson Partnership (PCP) funded the $30,000 project after receiving major contributions from Lakeview Covenant Church in Duluth, Minnesota; Trinity Covenant Church in Salem, Oregon; and Kent Covenant Church in Kent, Washington, as well as several individual donors.
Recent repairs that included overhauling two turbines made it possible for the Zulu hydroelectric dam to produce electricity, but the seven miles of badly worn cable prevented the power from reaching the hospital. Replacing the cables could cost up to $250,000.
Byron Miller, PCP executive director, will meet for several days this month with Congo Covenant Church (CEUM) President Jules Mboka and Dr. Lingili, the new head of the medical system, who have made upgrading the health system a major priority. Before returning to the United States, Miller will meet for two days in Europe with potential funding sources that hopefully will cover part of the cost of replacing the worn cables.
Several representatives of the Evangelical Covenant Church will travel to Congo next week as the CEUM prepares a four-day celebration of 75 years of Covenant ministry in the country. At least 5,000 people are expected to attend.
Covenant News Service will have a representative traveling with the delegation to report on the activities.