JUMEME, a mini-grid operator in Tanzania – co-funded by the European Commission, has launched a “COVID-19 Relief Programme” to support the Tanzanian government and local populations in their effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
With this programme, JUMEME says it will use its local solar-hybrid mini-grids to provide 10 healthcare facilities in the Lake Victoria Islands with free electricity services for the coming three months.
A free and reliable electricity supply will help keep operations run smoothly, it will also loosen up much needed financial resources to better prepare the local healthcare facilities to fight the virus.
In addition to its 12 solar-hybrid mini-grids already in operation in the Lake Victoria area, JUMEME is also finalizing the implementation of 11 mini-grids on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, in the Northwest of Tanzania.
These will connect 10 more health centers once operating. JUMEME intends to extend its relief programme to this area to support their local health centres as soon as the new project is completed.
”We are grateful to JUMEME for the services they offer to Bwisya Hospital for 24 hours a day without fail. We also appreciate the availability of electricity which enables us to conduct clinical procedures, surgery, and other essential health services to the people of Ukara island,’’ says Dr Kole, Chief Physician at the Bwisya Hospital.
Health centres are common in Tanzania’s remote rural areas. Patients rely on these facilities to receive first aid and treatments for common infections, before being referred to larger, better-equipped facilities if needed.
In JUMEME’s project areas, which were selected for their remote, off-grid location, only one healthcare facility can be deemed a hospital, which is located in Bwisya on the island Ukara. These smaller facilities are especially vulnerable, as they receive less funding than larger hospitals.
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