New Solar Panels Lighting the Way in Karawa

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.

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  1. I would like to add a little correction. Before the solar panels were installed, the hospital was using the generator for running the x-ray machine only on Thursdays and running lights for emergency surgeries at night. To my knowledge, and what I have seen, the electricity provided by the generator was not used for anything else. The funding provided by the churches mentioned in the article not only helped purchase the panels, but also the wiring, the bulbs, batteries, and lighting fixtures. They are all wonderful and the patients AND staff love having light to work at night. It’s so great to see them using their flashlights for other things. I speak on behalf of the staff here at Karawa—THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR GIVING AND PRAYING!!!

  2. This is the true religion, caring for the needy and reaching for the hurting. Thank you for lighting the hospital.

  3. Would love to know who made the solar panels used in Karawa. Sounds like a wonderful solution.

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