By Gwen Mugauri |  5 months ago | top
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Global Fund says it has spent at least 20 million US Dollars on Zimbabwe’s Government led solar for health project since its rollout in 2017.
The Solar for Health initiative aims to provide sustainable, clean, efficient solar energy and power backup solutions to improve healthcare services in rural and urban areas of Zimbabwe
Confirming the development to journalists on the sidelines of a Ministry of Health and Child Care Solar for Health media tour supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Global Fund in Masvingo and Bulawayo recently, UNDP Zimbabwe Global Fund Programme Manager and Head Mr Emmanuel Boadi said energy capacities of the over 1000 installations ranged between 5 and 40 kilowatts solar panels.
“So far we have spent a little over US$20 million since the programme started in 2017. Remember we are talking about almost 1100 installations countrywide ranging from 5 kilowatts, 7 kilowatts, 10 kilowatts, and 40 kilowatts.
“The idea is we will continue to mobilise resources to make sure that all the over 1700 health facilities are provided with solar installations.”
Mr Boadi added that the UNDP Global Fund was now working on supporting Government in developing a sustainability plan.
“We are also working on helping the Ministry of Health and Child Care in the short to medium term, to come up with a sustainability plan because the systems being installed have different components which have various life spans.
“We want to make sure that when the batteries’ warranty period is over and the lifespan comes to an end, Government will be in a position to replace them. So we are working with Government, private sector and external entities to have a support plan aimed at sustaining this investment.
“Secondly, a time will come when Government will have to replace and dispose of the various components and we are also working on establishing proper disposal of these components.”
Meanwhile, Masvingo Provincial Medical Director Dr. Amadeus Shamu and Matabeleland South Provincial Medical Director Dr. Andrew Muza expressed satisfaction with the Solar for Health initiative saying it had significantly improved the quality of patient care and positioned the country on the right trajectory of achieving universal health coverage by 2030.
The UNDP Global Fund in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Child care solar for health initiative has so far delivered tailor-made solar installations in 1 045 out of 1 600 public health facilities in Zimbabwe.