Delivering quality health care and providing food and water security to the people in Haiti are top priorities for SELF. Solar energy can help achieve these goals, and SELF has been working with its partners, local communities, and the government of Haiti to improve the well-being of the country.
After the 2010 earthquake, SELF and Partners In Health teamed to develop the Rebuilding Haiti Initiative to fully power eight health centers to help improve the delivery of health care services to thousands of people. SELF has also installed 100 solar powered streetlights in tent camps to increase safety, and with NRG Energy, Inc. and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, solar energy is being installed to power a fish farm, 20 schools, a Solar Market Garden™, and a microenterprise center.
The micro-enterprise center we solarized in Benin is bustling with business. Over the past year, small businesses have been created and are succeeding with solar powered refrigerators, cell phone charging stations, and even outside lighting so that businesses can be open at night. The local economy is improving, and businesses are reinvesting their dollars to provide additional goods and services.
From solar powered gardens and water systems, to street lighting, to schools and health care centers, SELF is committed to improving all aspects of life with the power of the sun.
SELF has completed installation of a 12.5 kW solar micro-grid in Sabana Crespo, a traditional village in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of northern Colombia with a population of 300,000 to power the village’s coffee warehouse, health clinic, medical staff housing and three children’s recuperation buildings. It is one of seven villages assessed by SELF with the active support of the Colombian government. This micro-grid serves as a unique, sustainable model to power shared facilities in similar indigenous villages throughout Colombia. In addition, SELF also installed seven solar refrigeration systems in the indigenous villages of Nabusimake, Gunchukwa, Juerwa and Sabana Crespo.
The village’s Kogi and Arhuaco tribes previously resisted exposure to the wider world, but they have come to believe that solar power complements their spiritual connection with nature and need to protect it. As such, the villagers actively participated in the system’s design phase by carefully defining their priorities for power.