More than fifty families from Pepjei and Paptea Village on the island of Rotuma were the first to be handed over Government funded Solar Home Systems last week.
This was made possible through the Fijian Government’s Solar Assistance Programme which the two villages had applied for.
The Chief of Pepjei Village, 26-year-old Gagaj Suakma’as, said that they are the first community in Rotuma to apply for this project and the community members are very happy to be part of this handing over.
“More than 150 community members, 30 households, and 50 students from my village have benefited from this solar project and we will no longer use benzene lamps at night. Our children will be able to study well at night, our mothers can prepare breakfast properly early in the morning and we will be able to watch WALESI TV to get the latest news in Fiji and around the world”.
The Solar Home Systems were brought over to the island by the team from the Department of Energy who were part of the REACH mission team that visited Rotuma.
The REACH program known as the “Rights, Empowerment and Cohesion” is a mobile-based service with the goal of making efficient and timely services a reality for rural and urban communities.
As a partnership program between the Ministry of Women, Children & Poverty Alleviation and the United Nations Development Programme, the REACH Programme promotes the Fijian Government’s vision of “Inclusive Socio-economic Development” ensuring that no Fijian is left behind and is funded by the Government of Japan.
Minister for Women, Children, and Poverty Alleviation, Rosy Akbar who is also responsible for the REACH programme thanked the Department of Energy for handing over the Type 2 Solar Home Systems to the successful applicants.
Minister Akbar said that this will not only reduce the dependency of communities on imported fossil fuels such as kerosene and benzene but also improve their quality of life through the provision of clean and affordable electricity.
She added that this is also part of the Government’s commitment toward its national target to connect every Fijian to a reliable electricity supply by the year 2026.