REF embarked on massive solar programme under which five hundred rural schools and clinics will be equipped with mini grid solar systems for the provision of power for lighting, TV, radio and vaccine refrigeration in the next two to three years. This programme targets remote institutions that are far away from any existing electricity grid network. However, those institutions that can contribute by tubing their schools/clinic blocks and staff houses get top priority to be equipped with the mini grid solar equipment. The Agency also provides services in the design and installation of individual Solar Home Systems (SHS) and solar pumps.
Benefits of the Solar Programme
The quality of education at electrified schools, improves significantly as the authorities are able to introduce technical subjects such as computer studies, fashion and fabrics and sciences. Electrified schools are able to retain and attract qualified staff, thereby enhancing the pass rates at the schools.
The level of health care at electrified health centres improves significantly as the institutions are able to introduce equipment such as X-rays, vaccine refrigerators and sterilizers. Electrified rural healthy centres are able to conduct deliveries at night thereby significantly reducing infant mortality rate in rural areas. The institutions are able to retain and attract qualified nurses.
Environment and Safety
Use of candles and paraffin lamps at rural institutions produces fumes and carbon dioxide which pollutes the atmosphere and damages the ozone layer. Use of solar systems contributes towards the reduction of harmful fumes in the atmosphere. Paraffin, diesel and petrol stored for lamps and generators are a fire hazard especially in the rural areas.