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 In Field Updates, Stories

In March, three WE CARE Solar staff will be heading to Liberia armed with solar panels, solar electric equipment and educational material to train health care workers on off-grid solar electricity. The goal? To equip 18 clinics with WE CARE Solar Suitcases and to train a fleet of health care workers in the basics of solar electricty. We’ve been collecting data on Liberian health facilities to allow us to customize the solar suitcase to local conditions. For example, we’ve learned that corrugated roofing is found on clinics, so we’re creating a roof-top laboratory in Berkeley with similar material. We also know that Liberia has a very lengthy rainy season, and we’re providing larger solar panels to clinics to compensate for the limited sunlight that will be available during these seasons. This trip is taking an extraordinary amount of planning. The areas we’ll be visiting have poor roads, no running water, and no electricity grid. We’ll be bringing boxes of equipment for doing the rooftop panel installations and mounting our solar suitcases and lights inside clinics…but it’s challenging to think in advance of every tool and piece of equipment that we might need. Our experience in Nigeria and Haiti taught us that it can be very difficult to find specific supplies in rural areas, especially when you’re working on a tight schedule. We’re practically bringing along our own hardware store. We’ll keep the site updated as the project unfolds.