A sub-regional project to light up 1 million homes in Melanesia by 2020 is about to get underway.
Called, the Melanesian Millennium Miracle Programme (M3P), the project will use technology that supports the physical, social and economic environment of targeted communities in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
Presenting the new project to the 2nd Pacific-EU Business Forum in Port Vila, Kuini Rabo of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) said to get the project going, solar lights will be distributed to 200 households in PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
In addition, 2-3 solar shops will be set up in targeted communities to provide back-up service for the solar lights.
Rabo said SPC has identified partners in selected communities in the three Melanesian countries.
“The objective of the project is empower local NGOs and communities, particularly women to engage on income generating activities and energy enterprises. At the same time, we’d like to deploy new technology in rural communities and create demand and markets for solar energy service, said Rabo.
If successful, the project will reduce reliance and spending kerosene use.
For Vanuatu, M3P is working with the Department of Energy to provide electricity to 26,625 households or 159,790 people by 2020.
Based on current funding, the project will bring electricity to 200 households (1,200 people) in two rural communities to bridge the gap between urban and rural areas in terms of access to modern energy services.
By Makereta Komai