Partnership with ESV-Haiti and Energy Assistance
While there is electrical service in Lamardelle through EDH, the government-owned utility, the power is only available 8-10 hours a day and is highly unpredictable. Some days it doesn’t come on at all, leaving our administrative staff unable to use their computers, and our clinic in the dark. We have generators, but the diesel they consume is a major expense that we can ill-afford.
During the summer of 2010, FEJ’s Belgian partner ESV-Haiti initiated a solar panel project in collaboration with Energy Assistance, a non-profit association carrying out worldwide humanitarian projects in the energy sector. ESV’s board administrator Magali Gontier had served as a solar energy specialist with Energy Assistance in the past, and was able to coordinate the collaborative effort. The objective of the project was to eliminate the need for diesel generators and EDH power to the greatest extent possible, for L’Ecole Enfant Jesus and for the community clinic.
ESV conducted an assessment, created a technical plan, then donated solar panels and shipped them from Belgium to Haiti. Energy Assistance provided batteries, an inverter, and other equipment and sent a team of three electrical engineers who volunteered their time to install the system on site.
The reliable power supply we have now is extremely helpful for all of FEJ’s staff. One major advantage is that the clinic can now move ahead with offering childbirth/delivery services to the community. In the past we have been unable to use the clinic building after hours because we could not depend on having light, and we were unwilling to risk having a sensitive procedure like a delivery going on under such circumstances.
At the school, the administration is now able to communicate the entire day, and can write reports without losing work when the power cuts out. We have freezers that are cold around the clock, allowing us to store vegetables and meat for the children’s meals. Many thanks to ESV-Haiti and Energy Assistance!