Electricity for Rural Health Clinics

AWASSA, EthiopiaSelam Awassa Business Group (SABG), Dorcas Aid International, and Practica Foundation have partnered to address the scarcity of electricity in rural health clinics in Ethiopia. In a population of 88 million[1], making it the second most populated country in Africa, the UN estimates only 16% of the population has access to electricity[2]. It is believed, however, that the actual number of persons who can afford to access the grid may be closer to 6%[3].

SABG, Dorcas, and Practica have developed the Fit for Purpose Energy Box to provide rural health clinics a reliable, renewable, and affordable source of electricity. The Fit for Purpose Energy Box provides sufficient steam for sterilizing medical devices, cooking, and laundry, and sufficient energy for refrigeration and lighting. SABG will manufacture, install and maintain the Fit for Purpose Energy Box.

Currently, Dorcas Aid International is offering to cover the expense of drilling a well and installing a pump if an organization decides to purchase the Fit for Purpose Energy Box for a rural health care unit. The cost for the Fit for Purpose Energy Box for a health care unit, plus installation, will be about $10,000 USD. This $10,000 USD investment includes:

Functional specifications HCU

The product will deliver:

  • 3 hours of light per 24 hours for 50% of the bulbs.
  • Lights for baby deliveries and other medical work.
  • Sufficient electricity for a small TV.
  • Sufficient cooling for 110 liters of medicine for 48 hours with no sun.
  • Steam (solar thermal energy) for 1 time per day sterilization of a 40-liter autoclave, 10kg food to be cooked, 20 liter pasteurized water for drinking, and 50 liter of 100 degrees C water for laundry.
  • Easy to use / operate by medical staff or guards.
  • Maintenance and repair warranty including twice a year technical check.

Technical specifications for the HCU

  • Solar PV system output 12 V, panel Wp 220, including batteries 2x100Ah.
  • If applicable 10 m high windmill generating Ah 0-200 per day.
  • Solar dish collector 1.4 m diameter on a frame, automatically adjusted to the sun
  • 10 LED lamps 5 Watt (50W traditional) including fitting.
  • 10 LED lamps 3.5 Watt for veranda (30W traditional).
  • 2 LED lamps 30 Watt (300Watt traditional) for medical work including stands and fittings.
  • Electric refrigerator, cool box type 110 litre.
  • Small TV.
  • Adaptation of electrical installation.
  • Connected to adapted autoclave.
  • Connected with valves to devices for cooking and laundry.
  • Pipes and valves being thermally insulated.
  • Cooking device

If you or your organization is interested in providing clean water and electricity to rural health posts and/ or rural health clinic units in Ethiopia, please contact Selam Awassa Business Group at selamabg@ethionet.et. To learn more about Selam Awassa Business Group, please visit http://www.selamawassa.org.


[1] The World Fact Book, July 2010 estimate, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/et.html

[2] UN country profiles, 2006/07 estimate, http://www.unethiopia.org/About_Ethiopia.aspx

[3] Study on the Energy Sector in Ethiopia, September 2008, Embassy of Japan in Ethiopia

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