Jumla, one of the many tourist destination places in Nepal, showcases the natural beauty of our country managing to capture the Himalayas, rivers, and habitats of our citizens. Pandav Gufa Health Post, located at the headquarter of Karnali province — Jumla, was equipped with trained professional staff and a host of electric medical devices but lacked access to the national grid, therefore unable to use appliances in their possession. Most people visit the health post not only for general checkups but also for lungs and chest related problems in the winter and stomach related issues in the summer. In addition to these, vaccinations and family planning services are also provided by the health post. With the Jumla District Headquarters’ central medical facility located a 4-5 hour drive away, the Pandav Gufa Health Post has played a vital role in ensuring health services to families and surrounding remote villages.
In September 2020, addressing these requirements and understanding the importance of Pandav Gufa Health Post especially during the time of the corona pandemic, Gham Power and partner GRID Alternatives have successfully installed a 5.94 kWp solar system. The installation process started on 12th September 2020 and lasted for about 10 days. Excluding the installation team of Gham Power, GRID Alternatives provided us with logistical assistance while community members were cooperative and helped keep the materials safe before installation. In addition, the lab assistant from the health post team supported us in electrical work. The installation process this year seemed to be more challenging due to the pandemic. Our team struggled with transportation and had to follow a lot of safety precautions that hindered our efficiency, timeline, and overall budget, but it was inevitable and important to ensure the safety of our team and the local community.
The entire cost, $20,000, for this project was funded by GRID Alternatives and the community and health post did not have to financially assist us. After the installation of the solar system, the health post now is able to generate its own clean electricity for years to come. With this facility, the health post can now operate heavy x-ray machines, refrigerator for vaccinations, bed warmers for newborn babies, and also expand its services.