The Lutheran Church in Liberia (LCL) and partners have begun installing solar energy valued at US$400,000 at the Phebe Hospital in Suacoco District, Bong County.
The hospital is operated, supervised and supported by the LCL, the government and partners.
The installation of the solar energy system would reduce the US$500,000 the hospital spends yearly on diesel (fuel) for its generators.
Lutheran Bishop Daniel Jensen Seyenkulo told the Daily Observer over the weekend that God is blessing Lutherans to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Bishop Seyenkulo added that the installation of a 100 kilowatt solar energy system at the hospital will not only reduce the expenditure on fuel for the generators, but would also enhance efficient medical services.
He said about five years ago, Lutherans in Liberia and United States got together and brainstormed on the solar energy project for the Phebe Hospital.
“During several in-house meetings, a group of Lutheran women decided to undertake the campaigns that generated funding to purchase the solar energy materials in the United States,” Bishop Seyenkulo said.
He said that most of the money raised came from churches, institutions, charities and ordinary people around the world.
Bishop Seyenkulo said the church, in partnership with other cheerful and God-dedicated people, has strategized to expand the solar energy project to the Curran Lutheran Hospital in Zorzor City, Lofa County.
He described the medical services of the Lutheran Curran Hospital as a multiple or regional initiative that also caters to Guineans and Sierra Leoneans seeking treatment at the facility.
Seyenkulo said a strategy has been developed to train some personnel of the Electrical Engineering Department of Phebe Hospital to maintain the project. According to him, such training will be carried out simultaneously to ensure the safety and continuity of the new system without disruption.
He said the electrical technicians have assured him that in about a month, the new solar energy system could be up and running at the hospital.
Bishop Seyenkulo also noted that medical staff and administration of the hospital are overly excited about the new solar energy project, especially for being relieved of the burden of buying diesel fuel for the generators.
Jason Edens, Phebe Hospital Energy Project Director from the United States, said the planning and development of the solar energy initiative took five years.
Edens, a senior member of the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance of Minnesota (RREA), USA, told the Daily Observer that the project is intended to assist the Phebe Hospital from incurring the huge cost of diesel fuel.
He said to develop and install the equipment would cost about US$400,000 and that the National Geographic Society of the USA has provided about US$100,000 to the Phebe Hospital Solar Energy Project.