Villagers Rejoice After $1.1m Access to Power



Having to light candles and kerosene lamps will now be a thing of the past after the commissioning of a $1.1 million solar grid in the interiors of Navosa.

For villagers of Noikoro, a village located 80 kilometers from the main Queens Road, life will now become easier after the commissioning of their solar grid by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

Village headman Jovili Tanadua in an emotional statement acknowledged the Fijian Government for keeping its promises to the villagers and bringing electricity to their homes.

“It has been a long time coming and for those of us who have lived our entire lives in our village, this has been a dream come true especially that it would help our children with their studies including the fact that we are so far away from any towns.

“It takes us nearly half a day to travel to and from town just to get our supplies however now with power available in our homes we would now not worry about kerosene or candles. “We thank the Prime Minister himself for travelling this far to commission our solar grid and also to visit and hear the issues that we face daily.”

Meanwhile, PM Bainimarama highlighted that the terrain and relative isolation of the village had made it prohibitively expensive to extend the national electrical grid to it.

“But we are determined to meet our objective of ensuring that all Fijians have access to reliable electrical power by 2021, to have 100 per cent renewable energy in Fiji by 2036 and to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

“By generating power from the sun, the people of this village will have light and power when they need it—so your children can study in the evening, so the women of Noikoro can run sewing machines and weave mats, and so all of you can watch television, freeze and refrigerate food, use computers and run labour-saving appliances and machinery.

“Having power available at all times will give you more control over time than you have ever had before. And time is a very precious commodity indeed. When you have more of it, you can do more. You can make more.
 “You can earn more. Now you can decide when you work, when your children study, and when you relax. And there will be no more noise or fumes from generators.

“This system is already supplying power to 200 people—41 households, the village church and, eventually, a new health center. It will generate power when the sun shines and store it for you with a special hybrid system for later use. So, you will have the same dependable service as any Fijian on our national grid.”

PM also assured Fijians that Government is committed to ending the isolation of its maritime and rural communities and ensuring that they have the same advantages and services as people in the major urban centers.

“We cannot have two Fijis, one with easy access to education, electrical power, health care and modern conveniences, and another that has to struggle to enjoy the advantages of modern life.” PM Bainimarama also acknowledged the European Union in its assistance in completing the solar grid project.