MEMBER of Parliament for West New Georgia Vonavona Hon Silas Tausinga has officially handed a new solar grid project to the Barasipo Community High School.
Barasipo CHS is located in the Vonavona lagoon in the Western province.
The new solar project was handed over on Thursday last week, which has since provided electricity to the high school and staff houses.
Speaking during the ceremony, Hon Tausinga said the solar project is a milestone achievement for students and staff of the school.
He said staff and students would now benefit from free electricity, which aims to improve the livelihood and education of the students and staff at the school.
“I share the joy that this project will now alleviate the cost of fuel for generators in running the day-to-day operation of the school,” he said.
The MP for West New Georgia Vonavona encouraged students, staff and the community to take ownership of the project and to look after it.
“This is a project that will benefit the future of our students. So, you all have a responsibility to take good care of these assets,” he said.
Hon Tausinga also acknowledged the Ministry of Mines for the tremendous support towards the project.
Deputy Director of Energy and Rural Electrification Mr Gabriel Aimaea said Barasipo CHS is the only fourth school in the country to have a solar grid.
He said the government has plans to support rural schools in such energy projects, but the vision by Hon Tausinga in taking the initiative a step further to support schools in his constituency must be highly commended.
“The vision by Hon Tausinga must be commended and the government, through the ministry of mines and energy, truly appreciates such an initiative,” he said.
The deputy director also emphasised that whilst the sun is free, the whole project is costly, so people must take responsibility and look after it.
Education Secretary of the United Church, Solomon Islands Mrs Riatako Turanga praised the MP for West New Georgia Vonavona for the timely gift.
“Such facility is a blessing indeed from a leader who has the vision to improve the education and welfare of students in the rural communities,” she said.
Mrs Turanga said the solar grid project had been in operation for the past two weeks already and has definitely enhanced students and teachers’ learning and teaching.
Chairman of the school board Rev Morris Tanapa also shared similar sentiments when thanking Hon Tausinga.
“Thank you for your heart and vision for our students and the future of their education. You have not only lighted up Barasipo but you have also lightened up our hearts,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hon Tausinga also announced during the ceremony that two other schools that will have similar projects are the Kinamara Primary School and Rarumana Community High School.