The Rotary Club of Accra-Spintex in partnership with the Rotary club of Rochester, USA installed a 5.2KVA solar power system at Alokpatsa Community Based Health Planning Services (CHPS) compound in the South Nkwanta district of the Oti Region of Ghana.
According to the 2010 census, Alokpatsa has a population of 1,687 who are mostly farmers. The Alokpatsa CHPS is one of 3 CHPS compounds in that area which are all without electricity. As a result, community members die of snake bites and other preventable causes because the CHPS facilities are unable to store vaccines and other medical supplies that require refrigeration. Due to the lack of electric power and pipe borne water, health workers posted there have challenges staying there.
This project falls under Rotary International’s Six Areas of Focus:
1. Disease Prevention and Control
3. Maternal and Child Health
4. Economic and Community Development
How It begun:
In 2018, the then district director sent a request to quotes for provision of solar system to power the facility. A member of the Rotary Club of Accra-Spintex whose company provides solar solutions also received the request and sent a quote. It however turned out that they could not afford. The Rotarian however followed up the access the need after which he begun talking to other Rotarians and clubs in a bid to raise funds for the provision of solar power to the CHPS compounds. One of such persons was Rhonda Panczyk, former member of the Rotary Club of Rochester Michigan, USA who organized fundraising activities with her club to raise funds to partner the Rotary Club of Accra-Spintex to do the project.
The project was done handed over on 15th October 2021. It was a 5kva- 5.4kwp solar power system with 21.12 kwh of storage and comes with between 2years and 15years warranty on various components of the system. The project includes 3 years maintenance contract.
The entire medical facility and residential quarters was professionally wired. and provided with 14 automatic and manually switched streetlights, 36 bulbs, fans, etc.
Local electricians volunteered to be trained by the contractor to be the first line of call and provide basic technical support and routine maintenance on the equipment. The system is a smart system that from which reports will be generated from time to time and sent to the contractor to ensure that the system works optimally and to be able to detect faults that may come up.
This Solar project has brought a lot of life to the Alokpatsa CHPS, now having quality solar power allows the facility to function better, as the quality of life at the facility has improved.
Clients such as pregnant women can come and deliver their babies in a well-lit environment without fearing being bitten by snakes, scorpions and other animals.
Qualified health workers refusing to be posted to Alokpatsa will now become a thing of the past and those who accept posting there will stay at post due to the improved working conditions.
The solar power installed also allows the usage of an autoclave /sterilizer that has been unused and been in storage for years due to lack of electricity.
Better Quality Health delivery services will be more available to over 3000 people, mostly children in one of the most deprived areas in Ghana.
Training of volunteers has increased local participation and community involvement in the project. This increases the sustainability of the project. Also, provision of training is transfer of knowledge and skills to qualified volunteers which could earn them some income in the future
The facility could generate some extra income from selling ice blocks to the villagers and the revenue could be used for system upgrades in the future