27 Mar 2017

Solar power project helps families in rural Fiji

9:41 am on 27 March 2017

A solar power project in Fiji is providing electricity to remote households in the sugarcane region of Viti Levu, which was hardest hit by last year's Cyclone Winston.

Solar energy

Solar energy Photo: RNZ

The European Union-funded project, in collaboration with the Pacific Community, will provide 400 households with solar power by the middle of the year.

The Pacific Community said poor access to power was one of the biggest obstacles to social and economic development in rural and remote communities.

The project's spokesperson, Martin Chong, said this would be the first time some people have ever had access to electricity.

"We're talking here about really remote, isolated farm households rather than village communities so solar energy or solar electricity will give them a big step up in terms of their development and connectivity to the rest of the world."

Mr Chong said each household would be taught how to use and maintain the solar systems, and be given a user manual, spare-parts and basic tools.

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