Clean Water Progress in Pelende, Congo

Photovoltaic Update

Posted April 3, 2019 by Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Ohio Province

We continue our 2019 Lenten Snapshot series by focusing on the progress being made in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

This week we look at the clean water facilities in Pelende where our Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur live and work.

In Pelende, the clean water system water has improved the lives of our Sisters and the community to the point that there is now a very large Notre Dame school and medical facility. However, the water system is inadequate for the growing needs of the community. Relying on a rainwater catch and containment system, the water system is old and in constant disrepair.

To address the need for a more reliable and sufficient clean water system, a borehole (well) over 300 feet deep will be drilled and a submersible electric pump will be installed. Storage tanks and a water purification system along with pipes and control equipment will also be installed.

Plans are also being made to refurbish and upgrade the photovoltaic (solar energy) system, which was originally installed on the site in 2010. Improvements will handle the increased electrical power requirements for water pumping and include:

  • Moving the solar panels from the roof of the community house to ground-mounted steel supports.
  • Replacing the lead-acid batteries with newer and more efficient lithium-ion batteries that are maintenance free. The new batteries will last 15 years and can be fully discharged to 0% every day.
Solar panels on the roof will be removed and installed on a steel platform. The rainwater catch and containment system (gutter and blue container) will be replaced with a borehole.
Sisters’ compound and church at Pelende.
Photovoltaic construction began in 2010.

During the Lenten season, we are most grateful for your support in helping our Sisters in Pelende provide clean water and educate for life.