Making The Switch to Solar – Bayalpata Hospital, Nepal
As a student, I traveled to Nepal in 2001 and spent six months learning the language and becoming immersed in the culture. It was a life changing experience for me and Nepal has a special place in my heart to this day.
Since then, I have returned to Nepal three times since then, both for development projects and for trekking. I have dreamed for many years of using my passion and knowledge of solar energy to one day bring power to a community in need.
The Chance to Give an Off Grid Hospital Energy in Nepal
After years of waiting and fouding Sunbridge Solar, that dream became reality. Sunbridge Solar has teamed up with Portland Pearl Rotary to bring solar power to Bayalpata Hospital located in the Achham District of Far Western Nepal. Bayalpata Hospital is run by INGO Nyaya Health which employs an all Nepali staff with volunteer help from visiting doctors and nurses.
This project will provide much-needed expanded electrical capacity at Bayalpata Hospital located in Achham District in Far-Western Nepal. Because Bayalpata Hospital is expanding key clinical services, including building an operating theater and Far-Western Nepal’s first microbiology laboratory, the critical load demand is increasing substantially in 2012. Thus, an expansion of Nyaya Health’s current small-scale solar power system is needed in order to provide electrical capacity beyond basic administrative use.
This project will benefit the community in immense ways by ensuring that the roughly 175 patients a day seen at Bayalpata Hospital will have consistent, 24-hour access to life-saving medical equipment.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
The $60,000 solar project was part of a Rotary International Matching Grant where local Rotary clubs in the Portland area (Portland Pearl, Downtown Portland, Seaside, and East Portland) contributed money that was then matched by our local Rotary District 5100. Those funds were then matched by Rotary International to reach the total project cost.
Portland Pearl Rotary along with Sunbridge Solar plan to visit Nepal this year to help with the project installation couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome.
Bayalpata Hospital Trip Update, Achham, Nepal
Located in far Western Nepal’s Achham district, this hospital treats about 30,000 patients each year and is the nearest form of medical care for 250,000 people. When we arrived there was already a line of patients out the door. The hospital treats a lot of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder) cases.
This is mostly due to the poor ventilation in many of the homes and years of inhaled smoke. Since the women do most of the cooking they have higher reported cases of COPD. The hospital is run by an all Nepali staff and a few non-Nepali volunteers.
Hospital Powered by Unreliable Fossil Fuels
The hospital staff told us that they typically have 4-6 hours of grid power each day, usually at night time. When we were there no power from the grid was present. When they do have grid power many machines still will not function as the frequency and voltages vary wildly.
Can you imagine trying to run a hospital that runs oxygen concentrators, delivers babies, and captures X-rays, without reliable power? Solar was a great solution for the hospital. They are saving upwards of $12,000/year on their diesel generator which can be applied to better equipment, better salaries for deserving staff members, and more reliable power.
Jordan Weisman | Founder