In the DREAM centers of the Community of Sant’Egidio for the treatment of AIDS in Malawi, the program for the installation of alternative energy officially began last February 20.
In the center of Mtengo wa Ntengho, at the presence of many guests including the Traditional Authority of the District, the Carmelite Missionary Sisters, responsible of the hospital of Mtengo, the representatives of the Ministry of Health, Elard Alumando, Director of the DREAM Program in Malawi, and Michael Malatino, Director of Total Malawi Limited, was signed a cooperation agreement that will lead to the creation of a series of “solar” facilities in the DREAM centers of the country.
Over the next three years some DREAM centers in Malawi will be equipped with a suitable photovoltaic system that will ensure the provision of the needed electricity.
It thus fulfills the aim of being able to use renewable energy sources to power the treatment centers and laboratories of the DREAM program.
The computerization of health-care services and the equipment of the molecular biology laboratories designed to treat AIDS patients require the presence and maintenance of complex electrical power systems to be operated even in case of power failure.
Following the economic crisis and the rising costs, the power outage is increasingly frequent and lengthy and consequently the cost of the electricity bills, especially those for the purchase of fuel for the diesel generators, rose steadily in the last years.
To ensure constant and good electrical energy in rural areas is one of the challenges of DREAM, in particular in those areas where the distribution network is outdated, fails frequently and is not able to guarantee a reliable service.
The use of renewable energy sources, besides protecting the environment and reducing the use of fossil fuels, will also allow to save as well as to have a valid alternative to unreliable electricity grids.
With the support of Total Malawi and the work of an Italian group of volunteer engineers and scientists, the DREAM center of Mthengo wa Nthenga will have a system to supply hybrid electricity of an extremely innovative type already by the end of this year.
As Pacem Kawonga, the Coordinator of the treatment center, said in her speech: ‘This solar energy project comes at the right time! Just when we were experiencing increasing problems due to lack of energy. We hope that the cooperation with Total Malawi will continue in other areas of work of DREAM’
The Director of Total Malawi, Michael Malatino, responded immediately in the course of his speech: ‘Although I have only recently arrived in Malawi, I could not help noticing the great work that the Community of Sant’Egidio with the Dream Program does in this country. I assure you that the support of Total Malawi will not stop here but will continue in other areas of work of DREAM’
The dream of DREAM continues to grow and is open to new challenges.