Monday, January 23, 2012

power program

Haiti leader launches power program - Haiti -

Good news: President Martelly is sponsoring a program to upgrade the power systems here in Haiti.

Peligre dam and power plant
We passed this on our way to Hinche.
 Some of the features of the program: street lights in various places both in the Port-au-Prince area and in the provinces, micro-loans for small solar kits, and work on the Peligre dam power plant, which is where our power comes from in our area.

Here is the first part of the article:

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Haiti's president said Monday he hopes to double the number of rural households that receive electricity within two years by offering people small loans to buy solar kits.The announcement by President Michel Martelly is part of a $45 million-plus energy package that aims to introduce electricity to thousands of people in this impoverished nation who otherwise illuminate their homes by candlelight.The program, dubbed "Give me light, give me life," seeks to build credit for rural Haitians as they take out loans to purchase small solar kits for charging their cell phones or computers. It also aims to line streets with light posts in the countryside and repair power lines in poor neighborhoods in the capital. "If a country wants to talk about development it's imperative to talk about energy and electricity," Martelly said at a news conference at a hotel in downtown Port-au-Prince.The need for energy in Haiti is critical to the reconstruction of Haiti as the Caribbean country struggles to recover from a massive earthquake two years ago that devastated much of the southern half and initially displaced 1.5 million people.The 40-year-old state-run Electricity of Haiti can only power 200,000 homes, Martelly said, and only 30 percent of the population in this country of 10 million has access to a power supply. Even then, most parts of Haiti only have electricity for a few hours a day, forcing many businesses and some homes to rely on generators and expensive fuel imports.
Read more here:

solar-powered lights I count on regularly
I'm certainly interested in hearing about these small solar kits, which could really make a difference. I know I count on my solar-powered flashlights and mini-lantern, since our power goes on and off at random intervals. Cell phone chargers would be a real help, as that's the primary means of communication around here (very few land lines). People with small generators run sidewalk businesses charging cell phones, as a matter of fact.

I hope this program will work. It will certainly get something accomplished, whether or not it meets its goals, and every little bit will help improve lives.

beauty and power lines
PS - As I was editing this earlier this evening, the power went out.  Just noticing... And now it's back on again.  So there are you, an evening in the life here.

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