Dear Editor – Since I wrote my letter to your newspaper last week in which I outlined the solar power needs of the Koviloko community in Isabel Province, I have received further news from the community on their desperate plight for solar lighting.
One correspondent told me the community of 3,000, comprising of 13 villages, can no longer afford to buy kerosene costing $7 for a 300 ml bottle and that a good number in the hillside village people have resorted to using a white substance from local nut trees to try to get some illumination in their homes.
I am led to understand that in the past the Australian and Japanese Governments have aided local projects in the community in respect of water development and some basic village infrastructure and 120 10 watt solar power units supplied by way of a Development Assistance Program.
As I understand the present situation the community is really desperate for help with more solar power units and it is very much hoped by bringing their plight to the attention of your readers some early assistance will be given them.
I have said before, but worth repeating, supplying solar panels are technically feasible options for electricity production in the rural areas of the country and have been proven cost effective in the Solomon Islands, where distances are high and population densities and per capita demand for energy is low.
More needs to be done to encourage renewable energy supplies to raise the standard of living and educational needs of all people living in the remote regions of the country.