The Kaduna State Government, on Thursday, signed a 1-year operation and maintenance contract for its 1.7MW solar project with MP Infrastructure Limited, a solar and infrastructure company.
Recall that, in 2016, the Kaduna State Government, as part of its strategic and robust energy development agenda, began installation of a total of 1.7MW of Solar Systems in Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCs) across Kaduna.
Speaking during the signing of the contract, the Executive Secretary of the Kaduna State’s Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe said, in partnership with the UK Department for International Development (DFID), a total of 34 primary healthcare centers in 21 Local Government Areas have now received these solar systems.
She said as part of the agreement, UK DFID committed funding for the installation while Kaduna state government committed to establishing and funding the Operation and Maintenance of the systems.
Balarabe, explained that, the operation and maintenance plan will feature remote monitoring, a fault alert messaging service, training and a 24 hours maximum response time for system failures.
She said by establishing an operation and management plan for the solar systems, the administration of Governor Nasir El-Rufai, is not only protecting investment in public assets but also ushering in a culture of maintenance for sustained improvement in public service delivery.
Balarabe said: “At its initiation, this project was the first of its kind in Northern Nigeria ensuring that the selected healthcare centers, serving over 180,000 patients annually, can be supplied all the power they need to provide quality healthcare round the clock in an environmentally friendly manner. On average, almost 6,000 babies are delivered every year across these 34 Primary Healthcare Centers – 44% at night”
“Solar systems are essential at night in rural Primary Healthcare Centers where there is no supply of grid electricity. In the absence of grid electricity, PHC staff have little choice but to deliver babies that come at night under candlelight. In the 34 selected PHCs, the solar systems are helping to make night-time deliveries safer”
Balarabe added:” The solar systems have also eradicated the need for noisy generators; thereby reducing carbon emissions and creating a more serene environment for patients. It is for these reasons that the significance of proper maintenance cannot be overstated. If properly maintained, solar systems can last for over 20 years” she said.
On her part, Senior Special Assistant on Energy to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, Ms. Dolapo Popoola, said the Kaduna State Government has secured an additional grant of 10 million Euros from the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for the scale-up of the Kaduna Solar intervention.
“This will see the program being expanded to rural general hospitals, public secondary schools, water treatment facilities and more primary healthcare facilities to improve healthcare delivery, education and availability of water in rural communities.” She added.
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