14 May 2012

Solar power being installed by Tongan grandmothers

5:06 am on 14 May 2012

Two grandmothers from Tonga are hoping to install solar panels to 80 homes in Nuku'alofa which currently have no electricity.

The women who are in their 50s, studied solar engineering in India last year and have this week begun setting up solar panels at homes in Kolomotu'a District under the Kolomotu'a Women's Project.

The Community Facilitator of the project, Sione Tupouniua says the women were chosen to undertake a six month course at Barefoot College in India.

"They specialise on training only women. And their mission is to break down the myths of technology into its simplist form so that people like grandmothers can make a living out of it and to prove that they can be trained even at the age that they're in."

Sione Tupouniua says the women are installing solar power to three or four homes per day with funding of about 1200 US dollars each home.