2012 is the International Year of the Cooperative
Keystone Heights, Fla.-- Clay Electric Cooperative, Inc. is donating a digger derrick truck to Haiti’s first electric cooperative in support of efforts to expand electric service in Pignon, a small town in the north-central region of Haiti.
The truck left the cooperative’s headquarters Wednesday on a transport truck headed to the Port of Miami to await shipment to Haiti.
This is one way Clay Electric is celebrating 2012 as the International Year of the Cooperative. Recently, Caleb Lucien of Hosean International Ministries stopped by Clay Electric’s headquarters in Keystone Heights to see the truck and thank the co-op for the donation. General Manager Ricky Davis told Lucien the board was glad to be able to help.
“Thank you very much,” Lucien said. “That’s the tool that will help us expand from providing 650 homes with power to 3,000.”
The donated vehicle weighs 55,000 pounds and was purchased new by the co-op in 2000. The digger derrick unit mounted atop the vehicle enables crews to dig holes and place larger power poles, such as those used for transmission lines.
Davis said Clay’s Board of Trustees is familiar with the tremendous need in Haiti and with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s efforts to assist the country. The NRECA International Foundation has worked in Haiti since 1998 to help bring power to inland regions of one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere.
The co-op’s board of trustees thought it was a great idea to support the effort. Several of the trustees have attended NRECA meetings where information about the International Foundation’s work in Haiti and other countries was presented. NRECA is covering the substantial expense to transport the truck to Haiti.
Pignon’s co-op, the Cooperative Electrique de Pignon (COOPELEP), is the first electric cooperative in Haiti. Co-op volunteers are providing technical training to local personnel on generator operation and maintenance, as well as lineman training.
Lucien, who grew up in Pignon, said the community is poised for growth. He said his ministry, Hosean International Ministries, focuses on three major areas: education, life skills development and business development.
“Electricity is central to progress in all of those areas,” he said. “I thank Clay Electric for this generous donation, and I know the people in Pignon are grateful as well.”
More information about Hosean Ministries and their electrical distribution efforts can be found here: http://www.hosean.org/electricalproject.html