26 rural health facilities in 3 regions get solar power

Mr. Amewu (middle) being assisted by others to cut the tape to officially commission the macro-grid solar PV. Photo Victor A. Buxton

Mr. Amewu (middle) being assisted by others to cut the tape to officially commission the macro-grid solar PV. Photo Victor A. Buxton

A total of 26 solar powered micro-grids have been provided for 26 off-grid rural health facilities in the Northern, Brong-Ahafo and Western regions to improve healthcare delivery in those areas.

Funded by the United Nations Foundation (UNF) at a cost of $2.5 million, through the UKaid,  the Northern Region has the highest of 11, Brong-Ahafo, nine and Western Region, six.

The provision of the grids, would help, amongst other things, adequately store vaccines and other medical supplies which were hitherto stored in cold containers.

The project, started a year ago, is in line with the Ministry of Energy’s off grid solar energy intervention to improve health service delivery in rural parts of the country.

The sector minister, John Peter Amewu, on Monday symbolically inaugurated all of them at a Langantre, one of the beneficiary communities in the West Gonja District of the Northern Region.

The inauguration was part of the Minister’s maiden working visit to the region since he assumed office. He was accompanied by Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, a Deputy sector Minister and some leading officials from the ministry.

Addressing a durbar of chiefs and people, Mr Amewu announced that additional 38,000 stand-alone solar home systems and mini-grids would be provided under Scaling-up Renewable Energy Programme (SREP).

This, he said, would improve energy access in off-grid communities and create opportunities  for the private sector  to thrive adding that the government would work to mobilise its part of the funding for the project.

He said access to electricity and quality health care especially in rural areas was a priority for the government as it deemed human resource key to the country’s development.

According to the Minister, the government would ensure that the price of power in the country became competitive in the sub region to attract the required investment and development for Ghanaians.

The Regional,Minister Salifu Saeed, appealed to the government to also attract investors to the region to leverage its hydropower potential by building multiple dams to use water spilled by the Bagre dam in the Burkina Faso and prevent the havoc the spillage caused each year.

He said the provision of more power in the area would help improve socio-economic activities in the area and alleviate poverty.

On behalf of UNF, Gordon Adisenu-Doe, a representative of the project contractors, said the capacity of staff would be built to adequately maintain the systems to reach its lifeline of 25 years.

Jeremiah Tiimob, a representative of the Regional Health Directorate, expressed gratitude to the government for the intervention which would help save lives.

FROM JONATHAN DONKOR, LANGANTRE, WEST GONJA

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