Sunvoice

Solar Lanterns Through Australian Help Too

Australia has delivered over 800 solar lanterns to communities affected by Cyclone Winston through Australian Red Cross. The solar lanterns are designed to meet the immediate needs of families for
01 Apr 2016 16:03
Solar Lanterns Through Australian Help Too
Solar lanterns are being provided through Australian help. Photo: Australian High Commission

Australia has delivered over 800 solar lanterns to communities affected by Cyclone Winston through Australian Red Cross.

The solar lanterns are designed to meet the immediate needs of families for light in the aftermath of a disaster.

Powered by the sun, the solar lantern’s battery charges during the day, while at night the tiny package inflates into a full size lantern for home use.

This clever flat design makes them easy to ship and distribute in disaster situations.

Village headman of Nokonoko in the province of Ra, Asesela Takatiko has been enthusiastic about the introduction of the lanterns.

“These safe, simple and easy to use lights are of great benefit to the families in our village. At night families can cook, children can read and everyone can go safely outside to use the facilities,” Mr Takatiko said.

Nokonoko which has a population of 309 people and 67 houses, was devastated by Cyclone Winston. Houses and community buildings were destroyed and damaged and the main electricity cut off.

“With no other power source coming into the community, the solar lights have been a blessing and a great help for bringing normality back to the community,” he said.

His community has even suggested a simple design improvement for responding to future disasters in Fiji and elsewhere – adding a USB port to let people charge their mobile phones.

Fiji Red Cross national president Cathy Wong said it would be beneficial for women in communities that have been devastated by the cyclone.

“The lanterns would be particularly useful for women in communities, where the electricity is completely down,” Ms Wong said.

“While there seems limited data on instances of sexual and gender based violence, the lanterns would be most useful as a prevention tool.”

The Australian government funded Australian Red Cross $2.3million to deliver immediate relief supplies through the Fiji Red Cross to families affected by the cyclone, including the solar lanterns.

Other relief supplies delivered included blankets, shelter and hygiene items, as well as support to enable their prompt distribution.

Australia will continue to work with Government to support Fiji’s long-term recovery.

 

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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