Solar installation breathes life in Meheba and Mayukwayukwa Resettlement Schemes

May 26, 2020

Woman with children waiting to be attended to at Karimba Health Clinic in Meheba

UNDP with funding from the Government of Japan recently installed solar systems at the health centres located in Mayukwayukwa and Meheba resettlement schemes at a total cost of USD57,000.00. These solar systems allow these health centers now to operate as  Outpatient Departments (OPD) for 24 hours a day.

Dr. Minyoi Health Centre and Kamiba Clinic, located in Mayukwayukwa and Meheba Resettlement Schemes both received and installed solar systems costing USD24,000.00 and USD 33,400 respectively.

“At Dr. Minyoi Health Post, we had failed to become fully operational after the clinic was commissioned in 2016. The health facility lacked basic services such as lighting and water. Without proper lighting, we had become accustomed to using candle-lights or torches”, said Health Coordinator, Steven Mafumo.

As Mayuykwayukwa and Meheba are not yet connected to the national electricity grid, Dr. Minyoi and Kamiba Health Centres have been able to leap-frog this power challenge with support from UNDP and the Government of Japan.

The support provided includes the installation of the solar systems, which comprised of off-grid PV systems with Li-ion (liFePO4) battery banks and 230 VAC sinusoidal inverters, including earthing, distribution boards, sockets, indoor and outdoor LED lights with switches, ceiling fans with rotary timer switches. It also includes after-sales services for a year, maintenance (preventative and corrective) together with technical maintenance (on-site preventive /on call curative).

This, according to Steven Mafumo, is a significant milestone for Mayukwayukwa Resettlement Scheme, which is managed by the Department of Resettlement, and oversees approximately 550 households comprised of Former Refugees and Zambians.

Mafumo notes that, “with the solar energy system fully installed, medical supplies will be stored refrigerated unlike in the past when the provision was absent. Essentially, it is expected that with improved service delivery, there will be improved health outcomes”.

The installation of solar panels is part of a grant of USD500,000.00 in total from the Government of Japan to support several activities for the sustainable resettlement of former refugees in Zambia. The overall goal of the programme is that, by 2021, communities living in the targeted resettlement schemes are cohesive, productive, sustainable and fully integrated into development at all levels. 

According to the UNDP Officer in-charge of Inclusive Growth and SDGs, Jan Willem van den Broek, “the Promoting Human Security Through Sustainable Resettlement Programme has three main objectives, “firstly, that Government at national and sub-national level undertake inclusive and participatory planning and governance processes that incorporate the targeted resettlement schemes; secondly, communities in and around the targeted resettlement schemes have access to social services and sustainable economic opportunities; and thirdly, resettlement communities are tolerant, inclusive and integrated with the surrounding society, enabling people to live in freedom and dignity and to fully realize their human potential.”