This is the outcome of a fruitful cooperation between the Israeli NGO « Innovation Africa », UNICEF and support from the Embassy of Israel in Cameroon to help rural areas gain access to basic facilities.
The project that is principally out to power rural areas with solar energy has so far successfully carried out at least four projects in three village in the East Region of Cameroon, Mercy Tayim, the representative of « Innovation Africa » in Cameroon said at a gallery to officially present their activities to the public.
« Close to 50.000 people now enjoy acces to potable water, and health and electricity due to the solar panels that have been installed in the hospitals, » Mercy Tayim said.
The electrification of these health centres has made it easy for nurses to work at night and handle any emergency at night unlike before, she added.
With the help of the United Nations Children Fund UNICEF, they have been able to provide drilled-hole water to the communities like Tonga Gandima, Garga Sarali, Ndokayo and Ngoura central.
Locals of these village are part of the 1.8 million African lives that have been touched and connected by Innovation Africa’s water pumping, drip irrigation and solar energy projects.
This is a glaring example to prove that money is not always necessarily needed to carry out great projects but ideas are required to take initiatives, H.E Ron Gidar, the Israeli Ambassador to Cameroon said.
« We are grateful to UNICEF for funding the project and we are looking at the possibilities of expanding the project to other regions of the country, » H.E Gidar said.
Sustainability key to success
For the project to be sucessful, it needs to demonstrate a level of sustainability so as to empower the beneficiaries.
« We have opened business units in which we placed businesses like charging of phones, barbers’ shop where money generated is saved in bank accounts to replace equipments in the long term future, »Mercy Ayim said.
It was equally an opportunity for UNICEF to present the « Connect my school » project which will be implemented in partnersdhip with the Israeli embassy in Cameroon.
The project seeks to reduce the digital gap in Cameroon by equipping and connecting six schools in the Far North, East and Yaounde through VSAT to enable underprivileged students connect to the world and gain access to books online.