Djibouti: Solar Powered Community Stations Now Open

Doraleh, Djibouti / Dubai, United Arab Emirates: DP World’s programme to develop health and educational capacity along transport corridors in Africa has taken another concrete step forward with the opening of an internetconnected, solar-powered community station in Djibouti.

Joost A.J. Kruijning, Senior Vice President and Managing Director DP World, Africa

The upgraded SafeTStop facility is located at PK 12, a community of 25,000 people close to DP World‟s container terminal in Doraleh, Djibouti, strategically located along the busy corridor through which more than 800 trucks transit every day. It is one of 23 operated by DP World’s project partners, Family Health International (FHI) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

With the installation of solar panels and VSAT (very small aperture terminal) Internet, the community station now runs three computers, a refrigerator, lights, fans, and several charge points, allowing truckers and local residents to access health-related software and information on road conditions, charge cell phones and make short VoIP calls to relatives elsewhere along the Djibouti-Ethiopia transport corridor.

Joost Kruijning, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, DP World, Africa said: “The successful upgrading of the SafeTStop in Djibouti is another tangible step in our programme to develop medical and educational capacity along transport corridors in Africa. DP World is committed to the development of communities in which we operate, with particular focus on bringing the benefits of major infrastructure projects to urban and rural communities.
We commend the work done by USAID, FHI and the government of Djibouti, our partners in this first-of-its-kind project in the Horn of Africa.”

The station will also support the establishment of community micro-businesses, such as the sale of cold beverages and evening entertainment with movies and sports events projected on outside walls.

The upgrade was jointly funded by grants from DP World, its supplier South Africa-based IT provider Dimension Data, and sister company Economic Zones World (EZW), while Dubai-based company Intersat, which manufactures the solar-powered connectivity hardware, contributed with labour and reduced the cost of the hardware.

DP World is set to open a much larger, primary-care clinic close to the facility, two internet connected solar-powered clinics in Mozambique and Senegal this year, and aseries of health posts in Puntland, Somalia by the end of 2012.

Source – DP WorldPress Release, October 10, 2011