Water and Electricity Issues
There is no running water at Simbiri! Water is a precious commodity. Rainfall can be erratic. There is a traditional rainy season and dry season, but in recent years this has not been so clear cut as previously, possibly due to climate change. Sometimes it rains regularly – and storms can be dramatic. Sometimes it does not rain at all for weeks. On site we collect rainwater from the roofs of all the buildings.
The water is stored in many containers. There are several 5,000 and 10,000 litre plastic containers next to various buildings. But, Keith and Dee Dick oversaw the building of two massive 77,000 litre stone built water containers that actually do fill up when the rains are good!
So, usually there is enough water for patients and staff and some left over to sell to the locals.
However, there are times of drought when the stored water is not sufficient. Local wells and springs in the area are then used – although the cost and effort to collect this is considerable.
Patients and staff wash in washrooms with no running water but just buckets of water self-collected from the large water containers.
Water used for drinking is taken from the large water storage containers and then filtered to purify for drinking.
The whole site is fully wired up for mains electricity. Until recently, a large generator provided electricity to the site but we could only afford the diesel to run this for about 2-3 hours per day. So, the generator was put on from dusk until about 9.30pm. This was enough time to keep the mortuary fridges sufficiently cool. It also provided lighting for the evening Health Centre activities.
However, in 2018 the national electric grid came close enough for us to get hooked up and we are now fully electric powered from electricity from the national grid!!! This has been a hope for many years and is now a reality. It has already made a considerable difference to the running of Simbiri Health Centre.