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Koto Tops Solar Pacific Essay Event

For Year 12 student Ilisapeci Koto, of Adi Maopa Secondary School, taking the overall Solar Pacific Fiji 2016 Essay Competition came as a surprise when her name was announced on
15 Jan 2017 11:28
Koto Tops Solar Pacific Essay Event

For Year 12 student Ilisapeci Koto, of Adi Maopa Secondary School, taking the overall Solar Pacific Fiji 2016 Essay Competition came as a surprise when her name was announced on Friday.

Travelling all the way from Mualevu village in Vanuabalavu, Lau, Ms Koto said she didn’t expect to win.

The theme of the essay competition was “Beating Climate Change with Sunshine.”

She talked about how her island was one of the most affected areas during Tropical Cyclone Winston. She highlighted the effects of using a kerosene lamp to do her homework and how she disliked the smell.

“Every morning when I woke up, the first thing I would do is clean my nostrils with a white towel and show my parents the black spots that had come from breathing in the kerosene fumes,” Ms Koto read.

Ms Koto was accompanied by her aunt, Miliana Navonu.

“She is the only child and she was bought up by her grandparents in the island and her single mum. She has done our family proud tonight,” said her emotional aunt.

Year 13 Runners up Winner, Senitiki Cagilaba of Niusawa Methodist School in Taveuni was also present to receive her prize.

“The Nokero solar bulbs have been very helpful in regards to the impact of climate change. Fiji is a small country and in our own little way we can make a difference,” said Ms Cagilaba.

16 entries were received from four schools. The schools were Adi Moapa Secondary School, Rev Thomas Baker Memorial School, Niusawa Methodist School and Nuku Secondary School.

Chairperson of Solar Pacific Fiji, Mere Samisoni said Solar Pacific has partnered with the American firm Nokero Solar to play a part in Fiji’s fight against climate change.

“We are harnessing through Nokero Solar bulbs the pure, clean energy of the sun to produce light for homes, villages, schools, fishing, and cottage industries,” said Ms Samisoni.

Ms Samisoni said the students who took part in the essay competition lived in villages that they included in the scheme to encourage rural communities to be at the forefront of their solar energy campaign.

“Nokero has taken aim at a particular enemy – the dirty and dangerous kerosene fuel that is still used by many Fiji households for domestic lighting and cooking,” she said.

A big crowd that included prominent people like Opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa and former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase were present at the event that was held at the Tanoa Plaza Hotel on Friday night. Edited by Maraia Vula

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