11 community evacuation centres in Rotuma have been boosted with the installation of solar lighting systems.
In his remarks at the solar light handover, Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Sakiasi Ditoka says the systems will ensure communities were provided electrification and proper lighting during and after a disaster.
Ditoka acknowledged the support of the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Disaster Resilience Program in implementing the project.
Pejpei villager Jeanmarie Tolo says the installation of solar lighting at the district community hall will greatly assist them during future disasters.
She says previously, villagers had to seek refuge in the mountains without access to proper lighting.
Paptea District School manager Harold Filipe says people had to rely on battery lights while billeted at the school hall during disasters.
Meanwhile Ditoka says the solar light project is part of the National Disaster Management Office’s intention to align its plans towards the government’s objective of achieving 100 percent electricity generation through renewable energy sources by 2036.
Ditoka also handed over a solar and freezer project to the villagers of Pepjei which was made possible through assistance from the Office of the Prime Minister at a cost of more than $30,000.