New year, new solar energy. The solar energy plant serving the DREAM centre in Bibwa, on the outskirts of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is now fully operational, adding to the now considerable list of solar energy plants that Sant’Egidio has installed in Africa.
A beautiful synergy has combined the experience of the DREAM Programme, the funding from Memisa Belgium and the technical skills of the young engineers of GCEO.
Thanks to Memisa Belgium’s funding, it was possible to build a 40kWp solar plant with 40kWh of storage capacity that powers all the most delicate equipment in the health centre: the laboratory’s analysis machines, the computers and servers that store the computerised medical records, the vaccine refrigerators and the drug store. The design and installation was carried out by GCEO, a Congolese spin-off of the Catholic University of Bukavu.
GCEO was set up as part of a renewable energy training project in collaboration between Sant’Egidio and the Ministries of the Environment (now the Ministry of Ecological Transition) of Italy and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Focusing on energy training for young Congolese engineers, as well as promoting the use of renewable energy sources in the DRC, guarantees the sustainability of the infrastructure, as the technical expertise needed to run, maintain and repair the plant will be available locally.
In a difficult period for everyone and especially for Africa, a beautiful story of partnership between public and private, Africa and Europe, which helps the clinical centre in Kinshasa in the treatment of diseases and in the vaccination effort and contributes to reducing the ecological footprint of DREAM.