Around 700 households in informal settlements across the Central and Western Divisions will now have access to reliable, clean and affordable electricity, after receiving solar powered household electrical kits through a project funded by the New Zealand Aid Program in Fiji.
While visiting recipients of new solar kits in the Suva area, the High Commissioner, Jonathan Curr reiterated the New Zealand Government’s commitment to tackle climate change, and working with Pacific neighbours on mitigation and adaptation strategies.
“We are pleased to partner with the Government of Fiji on this climate change project, which promotes the use of renewable energy to improve the quality of life for residents of informal settlements,” said Curr.
Curr said the New Zealand Aid Programme provided funding $700 thousand dollars through the Climate Change Division, for the purchase and distribution of solar powered home electrification kits. Mr Curr also acknowledged the assistance of the Ministry of Local Government, Housing, and Environment in implementing this project.
Recipient settlements are currently without connection to the main electricity grid. While the settlements may be connected in the future, this project provides an alternative option in the meantime for running small appliances, and importantly for providing good lighting in the home.
“Previously many of these households used kerosene lamps for indoor lighting. The new kits will give brighter lights without smoke or fumes, which is a better environment for children doing homework, and for families to spend time together in the evenings”.
Curr urged the community members to make good use of the solar kits, and take care of the equipment, which is designed to improve the home environment, and provide light and power for their families.