NATION

Mati Thanks Government, NZ For Lighting Up Home

  For more than 40 years Gyan Mati has had to source electricity from a neighbour and pay quite a hefty sum because she was not connected to the grid.
21 Jun 2018 10:00
Mati Thanks Government, NZ For Lighting Up Home
Recipient of solar energy kit Gyan Mati with her granddaughter Esther Lal at their home in Nanuku Settlement in Vatuwaqa, Suva on June 20, 2018. Photo: Ashna Kumar

 

For more than 40 years Gyan Mati has had to source electricity from a neighbour and pay quite a hefty sum because she was not connected to the grid.

Yesterday, the 86-year-old of Nanuku Settlement in Vatuwaqa, heaved a sigh of relief after she received a solar home kit thanks to a partnership between Government and New Zealand Aid.

Her home was one of the 345 houses in the settlement which were provided with a solar kit.

In total, 700 houses around the country have been provided with the assistance.

For years Ms Mati’s poor eyesight limited her mobility around the house. The solar kit, she said, would now enable her to do more. She lives with her children and their children.

“The Fijian Government has done a lot for us in terms of providing the solar energy kits to have electricity of our own at home,” she said.

“They have also increased the pensions for elderly people like me who are relying on the social welfare allowances for groceries and other necessary items.

“I am very grateful for the current Government for thinking about the elderly members of the community and also the New Zealand High Commission for ensuring we have proper electricity in our homes,” Ms Mati said.

New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji Jonathan Curr said they were pleased to partner with the Government on the climate change project which promoted the use of renewable energy to improve the quality of life for residents of informal settlements.

“Previously many of these households used kerosene lamps for indoor lighting but the new kits will give brighter lights without smoke or fumes, which is a better environment for children doing homework, and for families to spend time together in the evenings,” he said.

The distribution and the solar kits cost $700,000.

It includes: a 100 watt solar panel to mount on the roof, five LED light strips and cables, a control unit with battery and inverter, an air fan for cooling the house and two outlet plugs for the various household appliances. Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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