Baricho Residents in Kirinyaga County to Benefit from New Hybrid Solar and Hydropower Plant

Residents of Baricho in Kirinyaga County, Kenya, are set to enjoy a consistent and uninterrupted power supply with the unveiling of a new hybrid solar and hydropower plant. The Gitwamba power plant, announced during the Renewable Energy Forum Africa, combines both renewable energy sources to ensure a stable base load of electricity throughout the year.

The facility was designed as a hybrid plant due to the fluctuating flow rate of the nearby river, which varies between the dry and rainy seasons. During the dry season, the solar system provides additional power, while the hydropower component contributes extra capacity during the rainy season. This innovative combination guarantees reliable electricity supply day and night for customers in Kirinyaga County.

The Gitwamba hydropower plant has a total capacity of 170 kW. Its hydropower component has an installed capacity of 50 kW, with a design flow of 0.65 m3/s. The solar component, on the other hand, has an installed capacity of 150 kWp and a capacity of 120 kVA (120 kW).

Hydrobox, a company specializing in small run-of-river hydropower projects, developed the hydropower component of the plant. These projects provide eco-friendly electricity to communities and businesses in areas with limited or no access to energy. The power stations serve anchor customers such as large farms and factories, as well as small businesses, schools, hospitals, shops, restaurants, and households through a self-owned mini grid.

SolarNow, an experienced solar engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) company operating in East Africa, contributed to the project. With a focus on the commercial and industrial market, SolarNow offers solar solutions and financing options for businesses and institutions. The company has a strong presence in sectors such as education, healthcare, telecom, hospitality, manufacturing, oil and gas, real estate, and non-profit organizations.

The integration of solar and hydropower in the Gitwamba power plant showcases the potential of renewable energy sources to provide reliable electricity access to communities, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and contribute to a sustainable future.


Source: Capital FM Kenya

Egypt Achieves WHO’s “Gold Tier” Status on the Path to Hepatitis C Elimination

Egypt has become the first country to attain the “gold tier” status in the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) journey towards the elimination of Hepatitis C, as confirmed by WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. In a ceremony held in Cairo, Dr. Tedros presented Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi with a certificate acknowledging this significant achievement.

The “gold tier” status signifies that Egypt has successfully met WHO’s programmatic coverage targets, positioning the country to achieve the reduced incidence and mortality targets necessary for full elimination of Hepatitis C before 2030.

Dr. Tedros lauded Egypt’s remarkable progress, noting that the country transformed from having one of the world’s highest rates of Hepatitis C infection to being on the verge of elimination in less than a decade. He commended Egypt as an inspiring example, demonstrating what can be accomplished with modern tools and unwavering commitment at the highest levels of leadership to prevent infections and save lives. He emphasized that Egypt’s success should inspire and motivate global efforts to eliminate Hepatitis C worldwide.

The WHO recognized the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population’s dedication to sustaining comprehensive screening, care, and treatment services for individuals with Hepatitis C Virus. Egypt’s nationwide campaign, known as the “100 million seha” campaign (meaning “100 million healthy lives”), played a crucial role in this achievement. The campaign has conducted testing on over 60 million people and provided treatment to more than 4 million individuals.

President el-Sisi highlighted his administration’s commitment to eradicating Hepatitis C by establishing treatment centres, providing necessary diagnostic resources, training healthcare personnel, and supporting the local pharmaceutical industry. Egypt successfully produced millions of doses of Hepatitis C medication and ensured ongoing care for patients with complications, delivering the highest levels of medical support.

Hepatitis C is a viral infection that affects the liver, causing acute and chronic illness. It can be life-threatening and primarily spreads through contact with infected blood. Egypt’s progress in combating Hepatitis C serves as a milestone in the global fight against the disease and underscores the importance of comprehensive strategies and strong leadership in achieving disease elimination goals.


Source: CGTN Africa

Flooding in Cameroon Results in Search and Rescue Mission, Highlighting Climate Change Impact

A search and rescue mission is underway in Cameroon following severe flooding that occurred on Sunday. Authorities are working diligently to sift through the rubble in hopes of saving lives, as stated by Daouda Ousmanou, the top government official in the district.

The bodies of flood victims have been taken to a morgue for identification, while the injured have been rushed to nearby hospitals. Yaounde General Hospital reported receiving 12 injured individuals, including a 7-year-old girl. Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji, assured that all medical treatment for the injured would be provided free of charge. He also expressed condolences on behalf of President Paul Biya to the families who lost loved ones.

Experts note that flooding has become increasingly common in Cameroon, particularly in recent years, attributing it to the effects of climate change. The destruction caused by the flooding was further exacerbated by substandard construction practices that bypassed local regulations.

In an effort to mitigate future risks, Cameroonian authorities have been demolishing houses and buildings in high-risk areas prone to flooding. Many of the structures destroyed in Sunday’s flooding had already been marked for demolition.

The incident underscores the urgent need for climate change mitigation and adaptation measures in Cameroon and other regions affected by similar challenges. It highlights the importance of enforcing building codes and regulations to ensure the construction of resilient infrastructure capable of withstanding extreme weather events.

Rwanda Shuts Down Diesel Power Plants, Expands Hydroelectricity and Methane Gas Sources

Rwanda has made significant strides in its energy sector by closing down all diesel power plants in June of this year. The country has successfully expanded its hydroelectricity and methane gas sources, allowing these renewable energy sources to make a substantial contribution to the national grid.

Infrastructure Minister Jimmy Gasore announced in a recent media interview that two new power plants, the Rusumo Hydro Project and Shema Power Lake Kivu Ltd, have been inaugurated. This development has facilitated the decommissioning of diesel power plants.

The Rusumo Hydro Project, a joint initiative shared by Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania, is expected to generate 80MW upon full operation. Each country will receive approximately 26.6MW of electricity from the project. Shema Power Lake Kivu Ltd is a methane gas power plant aimed at generating 56MW.

Prior to the closure of the diesel power plants, Rwanda had five such facilities, which accounted for 26.76 percent of the country’s total electricity generation. Additionally, Rwanda had four thermal power plants utilizing alternative fuels like methane and peat, collectively generating 51 percent of the country’s electricity. However, these thermal power plants are expected to play a reduced role with the rise of renewable energy sources.

Diesel power plants were deemed expensive to operate due to high fuel consumption. Felix Gakuba, the Managing Director of the Energy Development Corporation Limited (EDCL), stated in an earlier interview that the diesel plants would be phased out once the Rusumo Hydro Project became operational.

With the expansion of renewable energy sources, the government aims to lower electricity prices in the near future. Gasore encouraged the use of electric vehicles, emphasizing that Rwanda has enough electricity to meet the demand, as it is not reliant on imports from countries like Saudi Arabia or Russia, as is the case with petroleum products.

Furthermore, Rwanda has plans to harness solar energy. The country has a significant solar energy potential, with approximately 4.5 kWh per m2 per day and five peak sun hours. Currently, Rwanda has a total on-grid installed solar capacity of 12.230 MW from five solar power plants.

The Rwandan government intends to increase the number of solar power plants to reduce production costs and take advantage of the abundant renewable energy sources available within the country. These developments signify Rwanda’s commitment to a sustainable and greener energy future.


Source: The Newtimes Rwanda

DJ Black Coffee Makes History: Sells Out at Madison Square Garden

DJ Black Coffee delivered an unforgettable night for thousands of fans as he performed at New York’s prestigious Madison Square Garden. The highly anticipated event was completely sold out.

The 47-year-old DJ created history by becoming the first South African DJ and producer to perform at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

He was supported by the amapiano twin duo, Major League DJz, and made special appearances alongside other notable South African artists including Oskido, Msaki, and Mondli Ngcobo.

Fans took to social media to express their admiration for Black Coffee’s performance and the pride he brought to South Africa. Comments praising his live remix of “Superman” with Bucie flooded platforms like Twitter.

The Instigator on X commended Black Coffee for not only his successful show but also for promoting other artists. The sentiment was echoed by many as they acknowledged his contribution to the South African music industry.

Some fans expressed their regret at missing the event, with one user posting about feeling a fear of missing out (FOMO).

However, the overall response was one of celebration and support for the DJ’s achievements.

While unable to attend the performance, Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Zizi Kodwa conveyed his apologies to Black Coffee for missing his groundbreaking show.

Kodwa expressed his admiration for the DJ’s journey and commended him for representing South Africa on a global scale. He acknowledged Black Coffee’s rise from the streets of Umlazi and Mthatha to renowned music arenas worldwide, emphasizing his inspirational impact on both young and old.

In April of this year, Black Coffee was honoured by the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture alongside other South African Grammy award winners for their exceptional achievements on the global stage.

Zimbabwe Explores Incorporating Traditional Chinese Medicine into Health Sector

Zimbabwe is actively working towards integrating traditional Chinese medicine into its health sector, according to a cabinet minister. During a bilateral meeting with China’s vice minister of the National Health Commission, Douglas Mombeshora, Zimbabwe’s Health minister, expressed efforts to familiarize themselves with traditional Chinese medicine.

Mombeshora highlighted the positive impact of Chinese doctors practicing acupuncture in Zimbabwe, which had benefited patients. The country is currently in the process of regulating traditional medicine practices and aims to cooperate with China in various areas to achieve shared goals.

The Health minister commended the People’s Republic of China for its support in implementing various projects in Zimbabwe, particularly in the health sector. He specifically mentioned the construction of the National Pharmaceutical Warehouse, which is one of the largest warehouses in the southern African region. The project, funded by a Chinese grant of US$22 million, was completed and handed over to the government of Zimbabwe.

During the meeting, China’s vice minister, Yu Xuejun, acknowledged Zimbabwe’s commitment to maintaining strong relations between the two countries. He mentioned that China has been sending medical teams to Zimbabwe since 1985. Yu expressed his appreciation for the outstanding service provided by members of the Chinese medical teams and expressed a desire for further discussions to strengthen relations, particularly in the health sector.

The discussions took place on the sidelines of the international Inter-ministerial Conference on South-South and Triangular Cooperation in Population and Development, held in Victoria Falls. The conference brought together representatives from over 30 countries, and it was set to be officially opened by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.


Source: Newsday Zimbabwe