- Title: UN installs solar panels at 10 Libyan hospitals.
- Date: 30th January 2017
- Summary: HOSPITAL MONITOR
- Embargoed: 13th February 2017 15:20
- Keywords: Solar power UNDP Libya energy powercuts
- Location: TRIPOLI, LIBYA
- City: TRIPOLI, LIBYA
- Country: Libya
- Topics: Government/Politics,United Nations
- Reuters ID: LVA002619T179
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: **AUDIO AS INCOMING**
The United Nations Developments Programme has installed solar panels at 10 hospitals across Libya amid recurring blackouts.
The project aims to help hospitals cope with extended power cuts that can sometimes reach up to 17 hours.
Bashir Mohamed, Abu Salem's deputy manager, said the project has been very successful.
"This project was launched by the UN's development programme at 10 hospitals across Libya amid enthusiasm from Abu Salem's mayor. They wanted to implement this project here at Abu Salem's emergency hospital and the idea was proposed to the hospital's administration and it was agreed upon before the solar panel was installed in a short period of time. It was installed in less than a month," he said.
A general electricity blackout in western and southern Libya, on top of chronic security and economic problems, has pushed public frustration to new highs.
Tripoli and other cities in the west and south have been plagued by repeated and lengthy power cuts for months, and the south has been suffering a general blackout for at least the past few weeks.
Mohammed said the results have been promising.
"We first tried it out at the surgical unit for ten days and the success was overwhelming, so we moved it to the intensive care unit and made full use of it during the blackout," he said.
Officials previously blamed the power cuts on technical problems, damage from Libya's low-intensity military conflict, sabotage, and distortions to electricity supply caused by armed groups diverting scarce power to their own neighbourhoods.
Hospitals have been forced to use generators that frequently run out of diesel.
"The solar panel which was installed in the hospital by the UN can produce about 37.5 KW, and it can store about 130 KW, and this itself is the capacity of the battery. Day time consumption is 37 KW and night time consumption is 5 KW," said Hussein Al-Rabaty, the head of Abu Salem hospital's technical unit.
The power cuts have contributed to the fragility of a U.N.-backed government that arrived in Tripoli last March but has failed to unite rival factions or halt a slide in living standards.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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