How All On’s social solar initiative is powering up elderly care facility in Portharcourt
Reverend Sister Mary Jane Raphael Agubosi has been the Matron at the Home for the Elderly under the Catholic Diocese of Port Harcourt since 2010.
The facility is the recipient of a 5KVA 48V solar Installation, just completed by Auxano, Nigeria Limited. This is significant because the facility is a charitable organization without enough resources to pay for the high cost of running its 100KVA diesel generator.
According to Sister Mary Jane Raphael Agubosi, the home was spending approximately N50,000 a month on diesel, in addition to N25,000 on generator maintenance costs. “We are now saving about N80,000 a month,” she said.
Yet the financial benefits are just the tip of the iceberg.
“Solar power has changed the lives of the elderly people we care for in the home…We now always have light whether or not there is NEPA and our members are happier at night,” said Sister Mary Jane.
In her 11 years at the home, Matron said these are the toughest of times financially. Yet she remains grateful for small mercies like the ability to watch over activities at night, thanks to the gift of power.
“We are grateful to All On. They are a godsend for making life easier and bringing happiness to the elderly.
The facility which cares for more than 75 under-privileged elderly men and women requires enough power to run appliances such as 15 fans, an air conditioner, 10 television sets, two computers, five fridge/freezers and three water heaters, just to name a few. The Matron was shocked to hear that all these appliances could be powered by solar.
“All I knew about solar before was that it was possible to give constant light in a small place that could carry perhaps a small fridge,” she said.
The recipients say this project has been both an education on the benefits of solar, as well as a blessing to the facility.
The eldercare facility is also the first project to be completed with funding from the All On Social Solar Initiative which was established in April 2021. Projects are proposed by Shell staff, All On staff and investee community with seed funding, while All On matches contributions for the full cost of executing projects.
The Social Solar Initiative is a CSR effort that builds on the success of the All On Covid Solar Relief Fund which contributed to the national Covid 19 response; and provides free solar services installed by All On investee companies to non-profit facilities and organisations providing key social services in communities around the country.
Adaobi Oniwinde is currently the Policy & Partnerships Manager at All On.