The Friends of St Francis Katete donated towards a project for an oxygen generator, powered by solar panels. It took a while, but now the generator is up and running, saving lives and saving the hospital a lot of time and money. Andrew Cairns reports:
“After two and half years of fund raising by the Friends of St Francis Katete, for equipment acquisition and installation, the hospital now has a fully functioning Oxygen Plant that during the day is fully powered by Solar. It was so impressive to visit the hospital in November/December 2021 and to see that all the plans, so careful in their making, have all come together.
The oxygen plant was acquired through Mulilo Gases (Zambia) Ltd and purchased through Inmatec of Germany.
The solar power plant was designed, engineered, supplied and installed by YouGo Ltd based in Lusaka.
Muntanga Munkombwe was the main Independent consultant who during the whole process has been invaluable to the solar project. His work has been exemplary.
At last, the hospital will no longer have to reply upon to a round trip to Kafue of just less than 1,100 kms to fill oxygen cylinders. The hospital is now providing oxygen to other medical institutions from Nyimba to Lundazi. It has already saved many lives.
As the oxygen plant, for its operation during the day, has been using solar power alone, the hospital’s carbon footprint has been reduced by 2.25 tons over the last 3 weeks (to 27th December 2021).
Due to financial constraints in the solar plant’s initial installation, we are now trying to raise more funds to acquire more batteries for extended backup use. It is hoped that the once the additional batteries are connected, there will sufficient capacity to power the oxygen plant, all four theatres, ICU, SCBU, labour wards and the children’s ward for up to 5 hours in emergencies. For the remainder of the night, we will have to rely on power from ZESCO or diesel gensets that are ailing having had them serve for more than 20 years.
One the of the big plusses in the way the solar system has been set up is that as funding allows, we will be able to add more PV panels, inverters, batteries etc. The long-term dream would be for the hospital to be energy self-sufficient.
If you would like to donate towards this project or to other work at the hospital, please click here.
If you would like to know more about the hospital and its work in improving the health and welfare of the Zambian people, please contact andrew.cairns[at]@fosfkct.org.uk.
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