By: Lauren Somer, Head of Marketing, Aggreko Africa
The public sector in Africa holds its vulnerable citizenry in the palm of a hand that is struggling to manage the rigours of legacy infrastructure and the complexities of technology and growing business demand. Governments on the continent are responsible for essential services such as education, healthcare, and sanitation, and all these require reliable power to ensure that they run smoothly. The problem is that often when it comes to power, things do not always go to plan.
The limitations of power infrastructure in Africa pose a significant barrier to governments looking to establish solid foundations that can support business and citizenry. The national power supply grids in many countries are precarious – balanced between supply, repair, and corrupt neglect. The need? To develop contingency plans that allow for governments to continue power supply, particularly to high-level and emergency facilities, in the event of an unexpected or catastrophic failure. To be able to restore power at the flick of the proverbial switch.
The Community Power Switch
Power is critical to ensure the safety and security of citizens in communities, particularly in more rural areas. Vulnerable people are at risk if there is no power at night, and the loss of power can impact on health, access to services, and general quality of life. To ensure that there is accessible power in rural and vulnerable communities, governments need to invest in contingency power solutions that can deliver power on demand.
Fortunately, some solutions have been designed to provide this level of power security for governments, without adding weight to existing budgetary constraints and overheads. Aggreko has developed solutions that can provide temporary central heating for schools and essential areas within communities – such as town halls or churches – in the event of a natural disaster or a power failure during winter. The company has designed and installed temporary power plants in communities globally, designed to provide immediate respite when power is limited for unknown periods of time.
This type of solution should be accompanied by a customised contingency plan that caters for the different scenarios that could impact on power delivery. This will ensure that the chosen solution is optimised for the specific circumstances and not just an expense that does not work when needed. Develop a contingency plan that will help relevant communities and individuals respond quickly to unplanned emergencies so that a power failure does not end up being another emergency to add to the list.
Central Business Districts
The worst-case scenario is rarely one that the business or government wants to contemplate, but it is essential to ensuring that the economy and citizenry remain viable in a crisis. This is particularly relevant on the African continent where power failures are common and infrastructure weak. Organisations cannot afford to be without power for any length of time. The cost to the company and economy is too high.
By developing a robust power contingency plan for central business districts, the government can effectively mitigate the impact of an unplanned (or planned) power outage by providing ongoing power facilities to relevant organisations. This level of investment into solutions designed to support the weight of business and its power demands will not supplant existing infrastructure, but rather provide an additional pillar on which the economy and business can rest.
Aggreko has an extensive range of equipment designed to assist government and business in any type of emergency. From backup power generators to robust power supply solutions that can run on both long- and short-term requirements, Aggreko has developed power solutions that can adapt to the rigours of the African landscape and its power demands.