Min­istry Farewells So­lar­ma­mas

In­dia’s High Com­mis­sioner to Fiji Vish­vas Sap­kal de­scribed the So­lar Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion ini­tia­tive as a strat­egy to fight cli­mate change

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Min­is­ter of Women, Chil­dren and Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion Rosy Ak­bar said the train­ing to up­skill 40 so­lar­ma­mas from the Pa­cific Is­lands would im­prove the qual­ity of life for ru­ral vil­lages. “Clean and sus­tain­able tech­nol­ogy from so­lar will im­prove the qual­ity of life within our ru­ral vil­lages,” Ms Ak­bar said. She farewelled so­lar­ma­mas from Pa­pua New Guinea who at­tended the Bare­foot So­lar En­gi­neers Pa­cific Re­train­ing held at the Cen­tre for Train­ing and De­vel­op­ment in Na­dave, Tailevu. The two weeks train­ing pro­gramme was or­gan­ised as part of the Fi­jian Govern­ment’s part­ner­ship with the govern­ment of In­dia and Bare­foot Col­lege to up­skill the so­lar mama’s from seven Pa­cific Is­land Coun­tries in­clud­ing (PNG).

The first set of train­ing in­cluded 31 so­lar­mama’s from Van­u­atu, Tonga, Samoa, Nauru, Kiri­bati, Solomon Is­lands and Fiji. The sec­ond batch of two weeks train­ing for nine so­lar mama’s from PNG was held from Au­gust 29 to Septem­ber 9. “This re­train­ing em­pow­ers women by build­ing their self-con­fi­dence and com­pe­tences to cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties for sus­tain­able liveli­hood,” Ms Ak­bar said. In­dia’s High Com­mis­sioner to Fiji Vish­vas Sap­kal de­scribed the So­lar Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion ini­tia­tive as a strat­egy to fight cli­mate change. “We are the part­ners with the Pa­cific Is­land coun­tries in this fight against cli­mate change,” Mr Sap­kal said. “This project in­cludes the em­pow­er­ment of 70 so­lar­mama’s of 14 pa­cific is­land coun­tries into so­lar elec­tri­fy­ing their com­mu­ni­ties.

“This project is worth $3.05 mil­lion ($US1.5m) and through which we will be so­lar elec­tri­fy­ing 2800 houses in all the Pa­cific Is­land Coun­tries.”

55-year-old Cathy Ru­mints, a so­lar en­gi­neer from Egem vil­lage in Pa­pua New Guinea, de­scribes this ven­ture is a dream come true for her com­mu­nity.

“I am in­deed grate­ful to the Fi­jian Govern­ment and Bare­foot Col­lege for pro­vid­ing us women with the op­por­tu­nity to de­velop our­selves as so­lar en­gi­neers. “We come from ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties where there isn’t any form of elec­tric­ity.

“So­lar elec­tri­fi­ca­tion is en­vi­ron­ment friendly and also cheaper to ac­cess and main­tain. When I go back home, I will be able to build the so­lar work­shop to so­lar elec­trify my com­mu­nity that will ben­e­fit 4000 peo­ple in Egem vil­lage.”

Source: Min­istry for Women, Chil­dren and Povery Al­le­vi­a­tion

Photo: Min­istry for Women, Chil­dren and Povery Al­le­vi­a­tion

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