Our most recent solar suitcase “offspring” has a new home in a rural clinic in Rwanda. When we heard that Catapult Design’s founder and CEO, Heather Fleming, was involved in a project to bring solar power to several health facilities in Rwanda, we were eager to learn more. We met with Heather and found out that not all of the facilities she was visiting were going to be equipped with solar electric systems. We told Heather about our solar suitcase, and offered to send one of our prototype designs with her on her trip. Hal Aronson, co-founder of WE CARE Solar, assembled a suitcase size system, which Heather packed up and delivered to a small clinic lacking electricity.
Heather’s blog reports the following:
Friday we drove two hours north to the Minazi Health Post, which presently has no electricity, to install a WE CARE Solar prototype. It’s a plug-and-play “solar suitcase” designed to provide immediate, small-scale power for a structure such as a small health clinic. Minazi’s health post was built entirely by community initiative when the Ruli Hospital proved too far to reach. The post is now supported by the Ruli Hospital system and thanks to WE CARE Solar, has enough electricity to power lights, cell phones, and charge batteries. Even this seemingly small effort will make a tremendous difference in their treatment of patients and communication efforts with the rest of the health clinic network.
We are grateful that Catapult Design could deliver our “little box of sunlight” and are delighted that our efforts will positively impact health care workers and patients in this clinic. The picture (courtesy of Catapult Design) shows the solar panel being mounted on the roof of the clinic. A movie of the Rwanda WE CARE Solar installation can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6_UTTusbwA