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Solar energy in Yemen saves patients and the environment

Installing a solar energy system in a hospital allows medical equipment to be used in multiple departments, allowing staff to provide better care while also producing clean energy and reducing noise pollution and carbon emissions.

ألواح الطاقة الشمسية في اليمن - المستشفى الجمهوري، حجة. مصدر الصورة UNDP
Solar panels in Yemen - Republican Hospital, Hajjah. Image source UNDP

Yemen's protracted conflict has severely harmed healthcare services, with 46% of health facilities currently closed for a variety of reasons, including fuel shortages. As a result, healthcare services have been reduced or discontinued, severely limiting people's access to critical medical care. These circumstances highlight the critical need for alternative energy sources to ensure the continued operation and provision of healthcare services.

With funding from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, the United Nations Development Program in Yemen is implementing renewable energy projects in several hospitals, including the Republican Hospital in Hajjah, the 26th of September Hospital in Sanaa, the Martyr Muhnaf Hospital in Abyan, and the Al-Waht Hospital in Lahj. These solar projects reduce fuel costs significantly, improve patient care, and increase people's access to health care.

"Our hospital serves Hajjah Governorate residents as well as patients from other governorates such as Al-Hudaydah, Amran, and Al-Mahwit," says Dr. Ibrahim Al-Ashwal, head of Al-Jumhouri Hospital, adding, "We were relying on diesel generators to generate electricity, which resulted in high fuel costs."

According to Al-Ashwal, installing a solar energy system in the hospital allows employees to use medical equipment in various departments, allowing them to provide high-quality health care to patients. He also emphasizes the project's environmental benefits: "In addition to producing clean, environmentally friendly energy, this project will reduce noise pollution and carbon emissions, resulting in a healthy environment for both patients and staff."

Jordan, Yemen, and Oman are the top three Middle Eastern countries in terms of potential achievable solar energy potential, followed by Saudi Arabia. It is worth noting that solar energy is very popular and widespread in Yemen as a result of the effects of the conflict on the cost and availability of fuel used in generating electrical energy and pumping water, whether for civil or agricultural purposes.


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