Solar-powered boat clinic on river Bramhaputra operated by C-NES in Jorhat, Assam. This project was supported by GIZ and Good Energies Foundation.
Photo: SELCO Foundation
In north-east India, boat clinics go solar for better healthcare delivery
August 30, 2017
For communities perilously living in flood prone areas, access to basic resources and opportunities is a perpetual challenge. River islands especially lack basic infrastructure and services such as healthcare, education, power, drinking water and sanitation. People risk the weather and flooding rivers, and make long journeys in difficult terrains to get basic health services such as vaccination, mother and child care, medicines, minor operations, etc. Medical emergencies can be particularly harrowing. Same challenges are prevalent across the sundarbans in Bangladesh, coastal areas of Rakhine in Myanmar, the lakes of Cambodia, and many other areas.
Mobile boat clinics developed as a response to this need. For example, a vast network of shifting islands characterizes the River Brahmaputra, in its 891 kilometer course through Assam in North East India. To provide basic health services to these communities, the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES) designed and built boat clinics, which have reached over 1.5 million people since 2005.