A Solar for Health Project funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has targeted about 12 health centers in seven Counties, expected to benefit.
Solar power facilities are to be installed in Grand Cape Mount, Grand Bassa, Bong, Gbarpolu, Montserrado, Lofa and Bomi Counties.
At a technical handover of solar power at the Duport Road Health Center in Monrovia 05 February 2019, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative for Operations Mulugeta Abebe, emphasized that the intervention aligns to UNDP’s role in identifying and testing innovative financing instruments and integrated solutions that achieve development targets and results.
He said the initiative will Increase access to health services by vulnerable populations, reduce carbon emissions as Liberia struggles with climate change issues and Improve the overall power supply of health facilities.
“UNDP is exploring innovative and sustainable options for increasing access to health services,” said Abebe.
The Liberian Government under its National Development Framework- Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) highlights the energy sector as a part of the infrastructure transformation strategies in its new plan.
Hence, UNDP believes that the Health sector could be a pioneer for promoting the creation of a local market for renewable energy.
Abebe noted that this initiative provides another opportunity for UNDP to support the country in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by helping to respond to complex development challenges that the country faces.
At the same time, the Director of Health Services, Dr. Lorraine Cooper, responding on behalf of the Ministry of Health and the Montserrado County Health Team, conveyed the government's appreciation to UNDP for the gesture.
Dr. Cooper stressed that such intervention has come at a time that Liberia like other countries around the world, is facing numerous challenges ranging from environmental degradation, fuel shortages on the global market, hike in prices to high maternal mortality.
“The quality of services at health centers is key to alleviating maternal deaths and there is no question that adequate lighting facilities play an important role,” Dr. Cooper noted. She urged authorities to develop sustainable strategies that would help make durable, the lifespan of the intervention.
The technical and operational installation is being led by a Liberian owned Company called Eco-Power.
Some of the facilities to benefit include: Sinje Clinic, Cape Mount County; Palala Health Center, Bong County; Konia Health Center, Telewoyan Hospital, Vahun Health Centre, and Kolahun health center all in Lofa County, as well as, St Timothy Hospital in Robertsport and the Buchanan Health Facility among others.