Khabar Khair (Only Good News)
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and partners inaugurated a solar hybrid system that will provide an uninterrupted power supply to the central COVID-19 Isolation Unit in Seiyun, Hadramout. A first of its kind in Yemen, this hybrid system can sustain power for 24 hours to facilitate steady provision of critical health services by using an innovative on-and-off-grid and diesel solution. A hybrid solar system is cost effective and efficient in Yemen, where regular power outages and other systemic issues weaken the health system.
The project was made possible by generous support from the Government of Italy and was implemented by UNDP’s Rapid Financing Facility(RFF) which aims to strengthen community resilience to shocks and crises.
During the first and second COVID-19 waves, the Seiyun hospital cared for COVID-19 patients with limited beds (10). As the infection rate increased, so did the COVID-19 response capacity with 24 beds. Despite this, however, electricity remained challenging for the hospital administration. However, with a capacity of 40 kW solar photovoltaic, 55 kW from the utility grid and backup generator, and a 240 kWh storage bank, everything has now changed.
“The solar hybrid solution has reduced the cost of electricity by $17,500 a year. In addition, the system can help run 10 ventilators, several machines, and 17 air-conditioners,” says Mr. Anees Aideed, the hospital’s Director. “We have also saved on the cost of diesel and the COVID-19 Isolation Unit response capacity has increased,” he adds.
In addition to serving the local communities in Seiyun and the surrounding areas of Hadramout, this COVID-19 Isolation Unit also serves the local communities in the governorates of Al-Maharah, Marib, and Shabwah. Furthermore, Seiyun is home to a growing population of internally-displaced people (IDPs) with more than 50 per cent of the IDPs visiting the center for general and COVID-19 treatment.
“Considering it is the only COVID-19 isolation unit and facility for more than 500,000 people in the region, the support from UNDP has boosted our confidence and response capacity to confront the pandemic,” says Mr. Abdul Hadi Al Tamimi, the Deputy Governor. “Thanks to UNDP for such a provision and critical support,” he further adds.
The environmental impact of the isolation centre hybridization of electricity sources will save more than 636 tons of carbon dioxide over the lifetime of the equipment.