SELF’s Response to the Haiti Disaster

Feb 2nd, 2010 | By John Waller | Category: Latin America, SELF
SELF’s solar installation meets the immediate and near-term needs of the Boucan Carré clinic. There are nine more PIH clinics in Haiti awaiting solar power systems.

SELF’s solar installation meets the immediate and near-term needs of the Boucan Carré clinic. There are nine more PIH clinics in Haiti awaiting solar power systems.

In response to the devastating earthquake in Port-au-Prince, SELF is accelerating their work to power health clinics in Haiti with their partner on the ground, Partners In Health (PIH). SELF and PIH have been working together since 2006 to bring solar power to PIH operations around the world. We have already provided solar electricity to Boucan Carre in Haiti, and have plans to solar electrify all 10 PIH sites in Haiti.

Solar equipment originally intended for Cerca La Source and Hinche will be temporarily re-deployed to provide critical power to the field hospital that PIH is setting up in Port-au-Prince. Diesel fuel, now used at the majority of PIH sites in Haiti, is already in short supply and will likely become even more difficult to obtain as time goes by. Solar can help fill a short-term need in terms of providing power for PIH’s relief efforts, and over the long-term, solar energy can serve as a foundation for a robust and sustainable healthcare infrastructure in Haiti.

To help, please make a donation click here to go to SELF’s donation page.

Background from SELF’s Haiti Disiaster Page:

In 2009 SELF continued to expand its partnership with Dr. Paul Farmer and PIH by bringing solar power to a remote PIH health center in the mountainous central highlands of Haiti. After completing site assessments for three clinics in 2008, SELF installed the first 10 kW solar installation at the large Boucan Carré health center in September. The system will integrate with the existing generator to power critical loads. 

Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and there is no access to electricity in almost all of the Haitian countryside. Currently almost all the PIH clinics in Haiti are powered by diesel generators, a costly and polluting source of energy. Diesel fuel must be trucked in via Haiti’s treacherous mountain roads.

When heavy rains cause washouts, the clinics must go without power, compromising healthcare for hundreds of thousands of impoverished Haitians.

Pregnant women are particularly endangered and death in childbirth occurs at a greater rate here than any other country in the west. In 2004, for every 100,000 births, 523 mothers died, as compared with 8 in Europe. 

Next on our schedule are health centers in two more villages, including Hinché. Ultimately SELF hopes to provide solar energy to 10 PIH clinics throughout Haiti. 

With your help, we can make this happen—and create a reliable source of clean energy enabling PIH to fulfill its mission of providing “a preferential option for the poor in healthcare.” 

PIH’s fight against HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in Haiti inspired Tracy Kidder, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, to document this epic battle in his bestseller, Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World.

To learn more about PIH and Haiti, watch this 60 Minutes video.

Future Needs

 Please help us continue to bring light and life to the people of Haiti.

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