November 5, 2010 (IUCN) – The remote village of Nahu, located in West Areare - deep in the province of Malaita in the Solomon Islands - is still in jovial celebration following the commissioning of solar lights installed in all 39 homes in the small village on Tuesday 2nd November 2010.
For the very first time, the villagers of this small rural community are now relishing the experience of better, cleaner lighting in their own homes. What was once a dream is now reality, made possible by the tireless efforts of the village’s Women’s Group, who has been operating a battery charging station in the village for over 3 years. With the little income the Group has been able to save over the years, they have invested in procuring solar systems that are now providing lights to their homes.
“We use kerosene lights everyday to give us light at night and when there is no more kerosene we use the dried sap of our local trees to give us light,” says Ms Basilisa Hasiau, the leader of the Nahu Women’s Group.
“Now that we have our solar lights, it will save us some money from buying kerosene and the long hours we spend to search for wood sap”
The village of Nahu is only accessible by sea transportation taking about 7 hours to reach from Honiara, the capital city. With a total population of about 200 people in 39 households, the village is spread over a large area along the coast and live mainly on agriculture (copra and betel nut mostly) and fishing.
With the support of the Solomon Islands Department of Energy, Willies Electrical and Solar Systems and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) this venture has been made successful.
“The initiative taken by the Nahu Women’s Group is indeed inspiring and one that will be exemplified in the years to come for other communities to learn from,” says Mr. Anare Matakiviti, Energy Programme Coordinator at IUCN Oceania Regional Office.
“IUCN supports efforts being made by all Pacific Island Countries to explore and sustainably exploit their renewable energy resources for energy production as well as to improve peoples livelihoods”
Notes to editors
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