By Gladys Fred Kole
Central Equatoria Business Union (CEBU) has donated 40 solar panels of 150 watts each to Yei Civil Hospital, as a part of its social corporate responsibility.
The donation of the solar panel will rejuvenate the deplorable situation of the hospital by powering the maternity ward and the theatre.
CEBU is now seeking to raise $ 25,000 to acquire batteries, inverters, and a power controller, including installation and transportation of the solar.
The state business union disclosed that the 40 solar panels cost them 8,600 US dollars.
Mr. Juma Khamis Juma, the chairperson of CEBU said the initiative has been a campaign by the union members under the support of Central Equatoria state government.
He said Yei River County authority also supported the project to provide electricity to power the hospital.
Juma said that it also turns out to be a charitable initiative that has emerged from the sons and daughters of Yei River County in the private sector within the union, with a great focus on saving lives within the county.
Meanwhile, CEBU Deputy Chairperson Thomas Muto Lo’buda explained that recently CEBU made an assessment in Yei River County, and that’s when they found out that the greatest need in Yei particularly in the hospital is the issue of power.
“In the maternity ward, when women are giving birth due to a lack of power, midwives end up using torches, phone lights, or candles, which is so endangering,” he pitied.
He said the generator the hospital is having at the moment consumes 4 liters per hour, which is not sustainable given the economic situation the country is undergoing.
“After the assessment, that became the priority need, so members of Central Equatoria that are in the private sector, sons and daughters of Yei, took up this as an obligation to mobilize resources that will be able to generate power,” he lamented.
The main goal is to ensure that the maternity ward is powered and that the theatre has a sustainable, maintainable, and affordable power supply.
According to Muto, the sustainability of this project is going to depend on the local government authority and the administration of the hospital.
He hinted that as the business union, they are only responding to the need; they are taking what they have and installing it, but management and sustainability will be the responsibility of the local administrations.
“The union will not deploy experts to maintain it; our work is only to get all this together, install it, and hand it over to the leadership of the county and hospital, and it will be upon them to see to it.” Muto lamented.
He said Yei Civil Hospital’s medical director disclosed that daily, over 50 women give birth at the hospital, and they operate over 10 people per day, making power the most essential need in the hospital.
“This year, there are over 2,000 returnees who are returning from the camps on a monthly basis, which means the capacity of the hospital is overwhelmed and there’s a need for continuous support for the hospital,” Muto echoed.
He noted that most of the humanitarian agencies that had been supporting the hospital have left, and the hospital is left entirely to government management and operation.
Yei Civil Hospital is the main referral health facility in the greater Yei region, where Lainya and Morobo counties refer their patients to the hospital for the management of serious medical conditions.
The union, however, revealed that it is planning to do fundraising slated for December 16, 2023, at the Bros Hotel Juba to raise $25, 000 for the installation of the solar panels at Yei Civil Hospital.
According to the Union, the installation of the solar system is going to take place in December this year.