Forum congratulates Fiji on rural solar project
FIJI — Villagers of Matasawalevu on Fiji’s island of Kadavu found reason to celebrate last month with the commissioning of the ‘Fiji 1000 Solar Home Systems Project’.
The Matasawalevu villagers are the first recipients of the US$2.3 million initiative, which is expected to provide significant benefits to people in 41 villages around Fiji through supply of solar-generated electricity to rural households.
The project, developed and implemented by the Government of Fiji, is funded through the Pacific Environment Community (PEC) Fund, contributed by the Government of Japan and administered by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
The ‘Fiji 1000 Solar Home Systems Project’ is the first PEC Fund-supported project to be installed and commissioned in the Pacific. Other Forum Island Countries are at various stages of implementing their respective projects.
Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Mr Feleti Teo, welcomed Fiji’s efforts in successfully steering this initiative to fruition.
“I wish to commend the sterling efforts of the Government of Fiji and the project implementers who have worked diligently and efficiently in the execution of the project to ensure that the solar home systems are installed at the earliest opportunity,” said Mr Teo.
“This project will no doubt complement other efforts being undertaken by Fiji to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and reducing carbon emissions through increasing the use of renewable energy. We look forward to the completion of installations in other sites around Fiji.”
Mr Teo also expressed appreciation and gratitude of the region to the Government and people of Japan for the provision of the PEC Fund.
He added: “To the people of Matasawalevu it is all our sincere hope that your solar home system will be a welcomed improvement to your lives and will be put to great use, to allow your children additional hours of study at night, or to undertake income generating activities, or to host social events at home.”
Mr Teo also stressed that the sustainability of the project was critical.
“I wish to join others in encouraging each household participating in this project to look after their solar systems to ensure that the benefits can be sustained well into the future, and also to report on the benefits that come about as a result of this project.”
The commissioning ceremony in Matasawalevu village was also attended by Fiji’s Minister for Works, Transport and Public Utilities, Honourable Timoci Lesi Natuva, First Secretary at the Embassy of Japan to Fiji, Mr Hideyuki Shiozawa, and Senior Officials of the Government of Fiji and the Forum Secretariat.
The PEC Fund is a commitment by the Government of Japan of ¥6.8 billion (approx US$66 million) to support Forum Island Country projects with a focus on the provision of solar power generation systems and sea water desalination plants, or a combination of both technologies.
The Forum Secretariat was tasked to manage the fund in close collaboration with the Government of Japan. Each Forum Island Country is provided with an indicative allocation of USD$4 million.
To date, the Governments of Samoa, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Niue, Republic of Palau and Republic of Marshall Islands have successfully accessed the PEC Fund for national renewable energy and seawater desalination projects.
Source: Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat