Posted by: calloftheandes | November 13, 2009

Ready Response by HCJB Global Amid Ecuador’s Power Rationing

Ready Response by HCJB Global Amid Ecuador’s Power Rationing

Sources: HCJB Global, El Comercio, El Telégrafo, Clarín

Despite nationwide power outages in Ecuador, HCJB Global Hands and Global Voice ministries continue to present the gospel both on the air and face to face. Electricity rationing began on Thursday, Nov. 5, amid decreased domestic power generation and lower import of power from Ecuador’s neighbors.

The mission maintains emergency generators at its Vozandes hospitals in Quito and Shell as well as at Radio Station HCJB. To aid the power needs at Hospital Vozandes-Quito, workers replaced a 200-amp cable with one that doubled the current transport capacity.


With this power assistance from the back-up generator, the hospital is operating at full strength except for a CAT scan machine.“Because we are expecting more power cuts in the country, we want to make sure the hospital can function as normally as possible,” said HCJB Global’s Hermann Schirmacher.

“Honestly it’s been pretty seamless,” added Steve Wilson, assistant director of Hospital Vozandes-Shell. “The electricity goes off, the generator comes on.”

The outages could continue for “some months,” according to Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa. Ecuador’s worst drought in nearly 50 years has cut into power generation from Paute, a hydroelectric plant accounting for nearly one-third of Ecuador’s power. “It’s complex to buy the fuels necessary (for the thermo plants) but we have the funds necessary to buy it and a good quantity of it,” said Esteban Albornoz, Ecuador’s Minister of Electricity.

Ecuadorian authorities have arranged for greater energy acquisitions from Peru and Colombia.

Authorities have pledged continuous electric service to five Quito hospitals of the 14 government-funded hospitals in Pichincha province. Other state-run hospitals operate using generators to meet power demands in their intensive care and operating rooms as well as in the laboratories. Provincial hospitals are adjusting to the blackouts.

A patient in Pelileo, for example, had to be transferred to Ambato to give birth due to the power cuts. Of 127 hospitals and 1,861 health centers in Ecuador, the back-up diesel generators at many facilities are at least 10 years old.

Residents of other South American countries are experiencing blackouts as well. Brazil’s government denied energy problems and continues to investigate after tens of millions of people lost power. Electricity from the 14-gigawatt Itaipú hydro plant stopped, leaving 18 Brazilian states and all of neighboring Paraguay without service.

ALSO: A 5-minute audio interview with Hermann is here.


  1. […] (UPS) to keep program automation computers running as the batteries had been getting weak. “The generator takes 30 seconds to start,” said Childs, a longtime missionary enginer. “I wanted to be sure that we weren’t […]

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