Power and Water for IMCK
DR Congo is one of the lowest on the list of countries providing electricity to their people. Only 20% of the population has access to reliable electricity. Imagine running a hospital or a school without a reliable source of power and water. The construction of a dam on the Lubi River near Tshikaji and the commissioning of the powerhouse in 1988 marked a breakthrough for operations IMCK. This massive effort was achieved through the labor of hundreds of Congolese construction workers and the support of the Presbyterian Church, Medical Benevolence Foundation, USAID and the German Protestant Church. A reliable source of power and water is a major factor enabling IMCK to maintain high standards of quality and attract clientele and staff to Tshikaji in spite of its rural location. The governor of the Kasai province has often expressed envy over IMCK’s reliable electric power supply and even paid to have a morgue built at IMCK in part because of this. Perhaps more importantly, IMCK is dependent on the electricity supply to pump all the water for use in the hospital, homes, dormitories, kitchens and other facilities at the campus. No electricity? Then no X-Ray, no lights or suction for surgery, no computers to support administrative staff, no nighttime study capabilities at ITM/ISTM. The power generation system was built with two turbines so that one could be in use while the other is down for maintenance. With each turbine in use about half the time, the operational life of both is greatly lengthened. However, on too many occasions, one of the turbines becomes inoperative due to damaged equipment and the remaining turbine must be left running continuously to maintain operations at the hospital. That one turbine could fail at any time under such stress which would leave IMCK in the dark! Efforts have been made to upgrade the power generating equipment (turbine, generator, governor, control panel) but unreliable funding to maintain this equipment presents an obstacle. Other problems – such as excessive vegetation in the reservoir clogging the control gates – also threaten the hydro facility. Your support of IMCK – through either the IMCK Endowment Fund or special gifts for current needs – can help keep this vital hydroelectric facility in proper operating condition. In many ways, the hydroelectric facility provides life blood – electricity and water – to the patients being treated at the Good Shepherd Hospital.