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Solar initiative contributes to Cyclone Winston recovery

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19 October 2016, Suva

The Pacific Community (SPC) and the European Union (EU) have commissioned the installation of 400 solar photovoltaic home systems to help affected communities in Fiji recover from tropical cyclone Winston.

The FJ$10 million EU-funded Fiji Micro Projects Programme (MPP) was redesigned in May 2016 to provide medium to long term response measures following a visit to cyclone-devastated areas by the EU Ambassador to Fiji and the Pacific, H.E. Andrew Jacobs, and the Pacific Community Director-General, Colin Tukuitonga.

Rural electrification, specifically improved access to affordable electricity, and increased income generating opportunities is one of two key result areas of the project.

The second focus area involves better access to safe and disaster-resilient water supply, sanitation and hygiene facilities and practices.

 

 

The rural electrification through solar initiative will directly benefit around 2400 people from remote households surveyed and identified within the TC Winston-affected areas in Fiji’s sugarcane-belt, located between Sigatoka and Rakiraki.

The EU Ambassador to Fiji and the Pacific, H.E Andrew Jacobs said: “The signing of this supply contract with CBS Power Solutions, valued at FJ$ 1.9million, is a significant step towards providing TC Winston affected households in the cane belt areas with first time access to electricity. The EU is very proud of this and is committed to helping Fijians fully recover from the devastation caused by TC Winston.''

Category five Winston is the strongest tropical cyclone on record to make landfall in the Southern Hemisphere, claiming 44 lives and inflicting devastating damage to communities on many of Fiji’s islands, earlier this year.

Power generation across the country was also greatly affected, with an estimated loss of up to 80 percent experienced in a number of provinces.

The solar kits are able to power eight lights, small radio, flat screen TV and charge a mobile phone. A small number of the systems being provided will have the capability to power a water pump and an energy efficient freezer.

“This is a positive step for Fijians on their road to recovery from TC Winston and we thank the EU for their support and partnership with SPC to enable this to happen,” Pacific Community Deputy Director-General, Dr Audrey Aumua, said.

The installation of the solar systems is expected to be completed by mid to late 2017.

 

Media contacts:

Lauren Robinson, SPC Communications, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or +679 337 9250

Mohammed Nazeem Kasim, EU Press Officer, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or +679 331 3633

Last Updated on Monday, 24 October 2016 11:58  

Newsflash

05 September 2013, Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands - At the occasion of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), European Union Commissioner for Climate Action Mrs Connie Hedegaard and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s Director General Dr. Jimmie Rodgers and the Secretary General of the Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, Mr Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni, have signed the "ACP-EU Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific" programme.

The European Union (EU) will provide 20 million Euro to support the Pacific states in addressing the impacts of climate change and the urgent need to improve resilience to natural disasters.

The high vulnerability of Pacific Island Countries to disaster is well known. This is further exacerbated by their often small land areas as well as their narrow, subsistence based fragile economies. Natural hazards undermine development and the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

This Programme responds to these challenges and will strengthen the capacity of the Pacific states to address existing and emerging challenges with regard to the risks posed by natural hazards and related disasters, while maximising synergies between disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA).

"For the Pacific people, climate change is not about a distant future. It has become the new normal. This programme will help the Pacific states in their efforts to adapt to this new climate reality. The Pacific states can count on Europe to continue its climate cooperation in the region”, said European Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard.