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kumi-oukeKumi, April 2011. Since early April, Hanneke en Ouke live in Kumi, East Uganda, to supervise the energy project in Kumi Hospital. They intend to stay for a year.

The project is located in Kumi Hospital, a hospital in the countryside near the town of Kumi. By lowering the hospital’s energy bill will enable them to increase the quality of the medical care. Around the hospital, approximately 150 employees live with their families. Until about a year ago, they got power from the hospital, but due to unpaid bills, the power has been cut-off. The intention is to introduce a prepaid energy system to the staff. An ESCo (Energy Service Company) should be established, to organize it. Apart from the technology, this will be the main challenge of the project.

kumi-hanneke

During this period of one year, Hanneke will also be involved in a project, related to medical care. With her socio-educational background, she will give her added value to a child-rehabilitation program.

To shape the ESCo and energy saving measures, Ouke and Hanneke started to look for companies that could play a role. They for example, had discussions in Kampala with solar companies Barefoot Power and Ultratec. Also the national energy board (Umeme) will be contacted.

kumi-ouke-hanneke-voorbereiding

Ouke and Hanneke leave behind a period of intensive preparation. It's not an everyday decision to work as a volunteer for a year in Africa. They both had to separate from a permanent job. Their house should be rented-out for a year.

The project had a festive start on the construction site with music, dancing and speeches. The hospital staff is hopefully looking forward to a future. After more than a year without electricity, they look forward to get power again.

For getting more info on Ouke and Hanneke’s stay, please have also a look at their blog: http://hanouke-kumi.blogspot.com/.

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