Villagers plead for solar system

THE villagers on Tavea, Galoa, Yadua, Mali, Yaro and Daku islands have requested government assistance for the installation of solar energy system.

They raised their concern during the Government’s tour last week led by Assistant Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management Joeli Cawaki.

Tavea Village headman Usaia Sokutu said they had waited too long for government’s assistance.

“We need solar for our village since a lot of our children need to stay up late so they can study for their exams,” he said.

Mr Sokutu said having no electricity on the island was a thing of the past.

“We request Government to think of us as we also want to benefit from the solar energy to provide us with light like all other villages around Vanua Levu that now have solar on their islands,” he said.

Galoa Village headman Watisoni Taukei said upon numerous requests for the installation of solar energy for the 14 houses constructed under the Tropical Cyclone Evan rehab program, the villagers still had to wait.

“We want to know whether we will still receive this assistance on our island,” he said.

Yadua Village headman Meli Rokobuli said most of the solar equipment received by the village were not working.

“The Energy Department promised us that they will come back and replace that equipment,” he said.

Daku Village headman Orisi Vukicanavanua said they had requested for installation of solar at the starting of the year, but hadn’t received anything yet.

“We have already paid our one tenth contributions and we are still waiting for them to come and install our solar,” he said.

“We need solar for a lot of things like keeping fish fresh in the fridge, children use light for studies and most importantly for safety of villagers when walking through the village at night.”

Daku Village is on Kia Island.

Nakawaga Village headman Jone Ravoto said they have paid their community contribution for the electrification of the island.

“We will wait for them to come and install our solar and we need a quick response from them since we have paid our one tenth early this year.”

Nakawaga Village is on Mali island.

Energy Department representative Waisea Cavunailoa said they have received a lot of applications through their office in regards to installation of solar to villagers around Fiji.

“We have received and also compiled lists of villages that needs solar, but then again we are also waiting for some villagers who have yet to pay for their one tenth contribution. Only then we will then provide them with our services as promised.”

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