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InfraCo Africa, with funding from the Private Infrastructure Development Group Technical Assistance (PIDG TA), is upgrading medical facilities near the company’s Corbetti Geothermal project site in rural Ethiopia to enhance preparedness for managing COVID-19 and for meeting the area’s long-term healthcare challenges.

Working with the team at Corbetti Geothermal in Addis Ababa and Awassa, the funding will support the training of local people to provide public health and awareness training in communities near the project site. The funding will also enable the installation of solar PV systems with battery back-up to provide light and power to clinics in Corbetti village and Shala district. Once power is installed, the initiative will supply medical refrigeration equipment to keep vaccines and other medicines cool.  These clinics will also receive medical equipment and supplies of consumables such as personal protective equipment and hand sanitiser.

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There has never been a time electricity has indeed become essential service to our survival than today. Yes, it has been proved and called upon again and again that modern energy service in all its forms is fundamental to societies’ social, economic and environmental progress. In the face of COVID-19, it has even become more essential to our survival.

Now, we are in an urgent call to sideline policies, regulations, directives and working procedures to ensure hospitals, clinics, health centers and medical storage facilities are powered with the available energy sources. Most of the rural health centers in Ethiopia are either powered by off-grid power sources or not powered at all. That means, there is a strong chance that they receive unreliable power supply during the night or not having any power supply at all. Backup generators are key.

It is time to enhance cooperation in mobilizing available Diesel generators in government, NGO and business offices in the urban centers and where there is a relative grid access, and the government taking the responsibility of refueling, mapping locations, transporting and onsite installations. If some can forgo house rents, salaries, building facilities and homes why not generators in our backyards, doing nothing now any way.  

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