Kudjip, Papua New Guinea:
Dr. Erin Meier is one of our physicians at the Kudjip Nazarene Hospital. She has been providing updates on the hydroelectric project, sending in this most recent report.
“Earl Hartwig brought his family to Papua New Guinea more than a year ago to help us reestablish our hydroelectric power. He and his guys have been very busy in this past year. They dug a big canal and then cemented it, they filled up baskets with stones to prevent erosion and now are working on constructing the dam (waterholderbacker) itself.
A few weeks ago after quiz practice, some of us walked down to the dam to see the progress and were pretty impressed with what we saw. About a week later, Earl and his men diverted the river so that they could continue the construction of the dam on the other side of the river. We were quite impressed with a follow-up visit as we were now able to see the water flowing through the dam.
There is still a lot of work to be done. The gates need to be installed, the penstocks (which I am told route the water from the reservoir to the generator house) are still being constructed, the generator house needs to be built, generators installed and more.
I don’t understand any of it, I just know where there was once a river before, there is now a lot of cement that has formed part of a dam and eventually we will be able to get electricity as a result of it all.
For those in other parts of the world, electricity may not seem like that big of a deal, as the times you are without it are probably few and far between. But to us here in Papua New Guinea, power outages are all too common. Everyday we use our electricity to do surgery on patients, to illuminate lacerations that need suturing, to see the vein in an arm to place an IV, to run refrigerators to keep medicines at the proper temperature and more. Our hospital needs reliable electricity to provide good quality care to our patients and we look forward to the completion of the hydro project so that we will have reliable electricity again.”
Thank you to Earl Hartwig and his team of men who have been working so diligently and to Dr. Meier for keeping us updated.