In celebration of the International Day of Clean Energy every January 26, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) takes steps toward addressing the dual challenge of ensuring access to energy for all while safeguarding the environment. The United Nations reports that 675 million people currently live without access to electricity, with a staggering four out of five residing in sub-Saharan Africa. This lack of reliable power significantly hinders crucial sectors such as health care, education, and economic development.
Located 800 kilometers (500 miles) west of Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, Yuka Adventist Mission Hospital is one of the oldest clinics in the region, serving the rural districts of Kalabo and Sikongo. With a capacity of 120 beds, the mission hospital faced a significant challenge due to frequent power outages from the grid. The hospital incurred high bills as diesel generators ran for extended hours, impacting health-care services and operational costs.
In response to the Yuka hospital’s energy challenges, ADRA Austria took a proactive step by supporting the installation of a solar photovoltaic system. This system was designed to provide a continuous energy supply to run critical equipment 24 hours a day, making the hospital less dependent on the unreliable power grid.
Transformative Impact: Yuka Hospital’s Testimony
The implementation of the Solar Power Backup Project at Yuka Adventist Mission Hospital brought about a transformative change. Hospital administrator Richard Likando attested to the positive impact, stating that the project significantly improved safe service delivery.
Likando shared instances where unstable grid power supply and frequent outages posed serious challenges to service delivery, even leading to life-saving procedures being conducted under “candlelight arrangements.” With the newly installed Solar Power Backup System ensuring a reliable and dependable source of energy, the hospital now operates without constant fear of disruptions.
The Solar Power Backup System has played a critical role in ensuring the safety of both mothers and newborns during medical procedures, Likando said. “The reliable power supply eliminated the risks associated with abrupt power outages, creating a safer environment for medical interventions such as Caesarean sections,” he explained.
In a heartfelt expression of gratitude, Likando thanked God, ADRA, and other donors for making a significant difference in the lives of the community served by Yuka Adventist Mission Hospital.
Lighting the Path Forward
ADRA Europe officers emphasized that as the world commemorates the International Day of Clean Energy, initiatives such as the Solar Power Backup Project are a step toward a future where clean and reliable energy transforms communities and ensures no one is left behind. “Together, we continue to celebrate milestones in sustainable development, making health care and essential services accessible to all,” they said.