SNDdeN Photovoltaic – update
by Sister Lorraine Connell, SNDdeN, General Treasurer and founder of the African Photovoltaic Project
As we approach the end of the year 2019, it is time for an update to our Photovoltaic project in Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). With the generous support of many new donors, we continue to make improvements in the original 2008 systems, particularly upgrading the water systems that were in poor condition in several of the sites. While the attention to the water systems was not in the original scope of the project, it became clear over time that this improvement was essential to the quality of life of the sisters, students, and patients in the hospitals and clinics: to provide safe water in sufficient quantities.
Work is indeed still continuing, with costs still being accumulated and donations still welcome to help with the final stages of the project.
In DRC we remain attentive to seven sites: Lemfu, Nselo, Mpese, Kinsaku, Kitenda, Pelende, and Ngidinga. Each of these is locatable on Google Earth, for those of you who would be interested in seeing the remoteness of these schools and clinics.
Our expected costs to continue and complete the project over the next few months are just under $700,000, with approximately 75% of that for the water systems. The systems include upgrading cisterns or bore holes, solar pumps, piping, above ground water tanks, and water purification equipment.
Some of the sites are also receiving electrical upgrades to batteries and solar arrays, and a small cost is expected to maintain the communication systems, new cables and installation.
As we are approaching the completion of the construction we are intent upon strengthening the local team of experts who can assist the sisters in maintaining and servicing the systems into the future. Local contractors are always being used and evaluated, with ongoing positive relationships essential to the future viability of all the sites.
We are grateful to all of our supporters, and our co-workers in this generational endeavor, changing lives one day at a time.
An idea, evolving from a 2002 General Chapter call to SNDdeN for equal access to information and communication through technology, has grown into a major miracle for sustainable life for our Sisters, their ministries, communities, and the people in Congo and Nigeria.