Sahay Solar Association Africa (Sahay), University of Applied Sciences of Southern Switzerland (SUSPI), Arba Minch University, Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region’s Gamo Gofa Zone office have entered into an agreement to install solar energy systems at 50 rural health centres that have no access to the national electricity grid on 14th April 2015 at Arba Minch. Dr Feleke Woldeyes, Dr Guchie Gulie from AMU, Gamo Gofa Zone Chief Administrator, Mr Tilahun Kebede, Sahay Solar Association Africa CEO, Mr Max Pohl and Mr Ruedi Tobler, and ISAAC Institute Director, Dr Roman Rudel signed the pact.
The purpose of the project is to help improve the services of SNNPR health stations by means of light, cooling and heating. It will also provide electricity to community members against payment for starting small businesses.
As per agreement, the installation of solar systems in 50 rural health centres will be carried in the span of three years. In the first year, 15 health centres will be electrified until June 2016.
It’s learnt that all collaborating partners will pool in project’s fixed and running cost. SNNPR Administration will contribute 30% of the overall costs, AMU 10%, Sahay Solar 60% of the total project budget and SUSPI to bear internal costs for the supply of a technical consultant for advisory and capacity building training at AMU.
The technical equipment will amount up to 67% of the overall costs while overhead logistics and running costs shall cover 33% of the total budget. The total project budget for a year wherein 15 health stations will be electrified is estimated to be Euro 450,000.
Sahay Solar Association with its 60% of overall funding and supply of PV equipment will carry out project management. It will donate the required technical equipments to AMU.
University of Applied Sciences of Southern Switzerland stands to take care of technical consultancy, analysis of electricity demand and concept of technical PV system management. SUSPI will design a manual and documentation for the installation and training local AMU staff, students and workers.
AMU will prepare project locations, provide logistical support, prepare financial reports and facilitate import and transportation of equipments to Arba Minch, cover fuel and other overhead expenses in its contribution. It will be responsible for the complete management of location; it will raise awareness about solar lights in rural areas.
Gamo Gofa zone will be facilitating selection of the locations, assist Sahay in financial transaction, and provide all kinds of administrative and logistical support for the project. The project came into effect from the moment it was signed between the partners.
It’s to note that AMU, Sahay and SUSPI have been in close cooperation since 2009, setting up a solar competence center at AMU for the training of local staff and students in solar and renewable energy technologies.

(By Corporate Communication Directorate: Philips Joseph)