“We have plenty of work in KIUMA”
“My father gave me a broken tape recorder. I was able to remove the motors and connect them to batteries. As a result, I had my first experiences with electricity at primary school”, says the Tanzanian Yohana Ngalya, who knew that he wanted to become an electrician from an early age. Today he works with our partner in Tanzania and as such he is an example for the wortundtat concept, to employ local people rather than filling the projects with Europeans.
Yohana Ngalya’s wish has been fulfilled: from 1989 to 1992, he was able to train as an electrician at a technical secondary school. Afterwards he worked some years in a major city in the north of the country. “I had my own business and employed five people. We repaired TVs, radios and other electrical appliances or we would lay electric cables in new houses”, he remembers.
However, there was not enough to do in the long run. That is why in 2009, he changed the city for a job, which then was very difficult to reach. That the job – as he says laughing – was “in the bush”, was not an obstacle: “Former I was not able to earn enough. Here in KIUMA is plenty to do.” He did his job so well that he was soon leading the team, which is in charge of the electric installations.
At the beginning, lots of Yohana Ngalya’s working hours were spent on sorting smaller or bigger emergencies. Where some European electrician would have thrown the towel in, he still found a solution. However, four years ago work began on completely restructuring the electrical supply. A modern system shall replace the current facility, which is almost 25 years old.
Changed working day
Soon the new power supply will go into operation – a combination of photovoltaic installation, generators and electricity supplied by the national energy supplier. Afterwards everything will be more reliable and better suited to KIUMA’s requirements.
This will make things easier in the hospital’s operating theatre and the chemist. Some medication has to be permanently refrigerated. Pupils of the secondary school will in future have regular access to computers and the training workshops will be able to use machinery in future, for which until now there was not sufficient power. “All in all, KIUMA’s power supply will be able to easily compete with similar facilities”, says Jakob Adolf, wortundtat project coordinator.
Yohana Ngalya’s job will also change: away from crisis management towards routine and maintenance work. He and his team are already preparing for this. He appreciates that he and his members have the opportunity of learning many new things – knowledge that will benefit KIUMA and his fellow countrymen.