Four technical teams of Chinese aid workers are already active in Sao Tome and Principe, taking advantage of the experience of some team members in other Portuguese-speaking African countries and Macau to meet the many needs of the archipelago.
About a month after signing the cooperation agreement between Sao Tome and Principe and China in Beijing, which will resume a relationship that was interrupted for almost two decades, Macauhub in Sao Tome accompanied the teams in the areas of agriculture, energy, health and malaria control.
At the Santo Amaro power station, the main one in the country, the head of the Chinese energy mission, Huang Tao, and his team, are working side by side with employees from Sao Tome’s state utility company Empresa de Água e Electricidade.
Two of the five generators were at a standstill when they arrived on 20 January, and they managed to repair one of them in less than 24 hours. The second will resume operation as soon as the parts arrive, significantly increasing production in Santo Amaro, which provides more than half of the electricity to Sao Tome, a city that suffers from sporadic blackouts.
“We are in the initial stage and I think that in future we will have more results. In our area of intervention we intend to discuss with the government the increase of production capacity, particularly through renewable energy, which will lower costs and be more environmentally friendly. The current plant uses only fuel, and thus has high operating costs,” Huang told Macauhub.
There are also already five doctors and three support staff in Sao Tome, as part of a team led by Jingqiang Wang, who liaises with the Ministry of Health to assess the country’s needs.
Young medical sciences researcher Li Mingqiang, of the Medical University of Guangzhou, known for his expertise in prevention and treatment of malaria is currently carrying out a needs assessment.
Upon completion of the assessment phase, the next step is to import laboratory equipment from China.
Hou Xiaoping, head of the agricultural technical team also intends to introduce Chinese technology and experience. In initial assessment the products of greatest potential were identified as cocoa, coffee and pepper, all products that may have a market in China in the future, he said.
By introducing new seeds and techniques, food safety and animal husbandry can help improve people’s livelihood, which should also benefit from the introduction of biogas production techniques from animal waste, which can also be used to produce fertilizers. (macauhub)