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Fiji Time: 7:17 PM on Wednesday 16 April

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New journey for villagers

Nanise Loanakadavu
Monday, December 17, 2012

WORKING and studying in the dark will be a thing of the past for the people of Matasawalevu Village in Kadavu.

This after villagers celebrated the momentous occasion of the commissioning of solar panels to 34 houses on the island last week.

Village headman Isireli Naivaluwaqa said children were the ones affected the most as they had to study in the dark.

"This is a new journey for us," Mr Naivaluwaqa said.

"This timely assistance could not have come at a better time," he added.

The solemn occasion saw village women wipe tears from their eyes as they reminisced on the struggles they had endured over the past years.

Merewalesi Tinai, 50, said they still could not believe that Matasawalevu Village of all villages in Kadavu was chosen to be provided with such assistance.

Chief guest at the ceremony Minister for Public Utilities, Works and Transport Colonel Timoci Natuva said families would be able to watch television, charge their mobile phones and even use laptops that would connect them to the rest of the world.

He said the benefits would be immense ranging from those at macro level to those directly felt by each member of Matasawalevu Village.

"Socio-economic surveys carried out pegs the amount of monetary savings per month for each family at $22 that would otherwise be spent on batteries or kerosene lights," he said.

"These savings could be diverted to other productivity uses, health or educational needs of each family," he added.