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