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Question: Why do we make such a big deal of a hydro electric plant, among all the other physical infrastructure at IMCK? Isn't electricity one of those modern conveniences that many "bush" hospitals have managed without?

Answer: Because a reliable source or electric power in an area where power is typically intermittant (even in the big city of Kananga) is one of the major things that has enabled IMCK to maintain high standards of quality and to attract clientele and staff in spite of its rural location. Even the governor of the Kasai Province has been known to express envy over IMCK's reliable electric power supply! In fact, the governor paid to have a morgue built at IMCK in part because of the reliable power supply. Perhaps more importantly, IMCK is dependenet on the electricity supply to pump all the water for use in the hospital, homes, dorms, kitchens and other places about the campus. No power; no water! No power; no X-Ray. No power; no lights & suction for surgery. Etc.

The other reason we make a point of it here is that the IMCK power plant is in dire need of major overhaul. The system was built with two turbines so that one could be in use while the other is down for maintenance. Also, with each turbine in use only about half the time, the operational life of both is greatly lengthened.

However, for the past two years, one of the turbines has been completely inoperative due to a damaged governor (speed control) and the one remaining turbine has been running virtually 24/7 that entire time. Obviously, that one turbine could fail at any time under such stress and then IMCK would truly be in the dark! Becuse of the outdated technology, it has now been estimated that complete repairs for the damaged turbine may come to $100,000. Click here if you choose to donate, and specify "IMCK Hydro."

Aerial view of powerhouse

IMCK Hydro
The hydro-electric facility located on the Lubi river has provided electricity for IMCK since 1985. Click here for another view.

Hydro Turbine/powerhouse building

Hydro powerhouse
Where the energy of the river is converted into electricity. Click here for an inside view.



Damaged hydro governor


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