Government’s Solar Project Illuminates Nabukelevu District School

Caption: Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Hon. Sakiasi Ditoka, Commissioner Eastern Division Mr. Vitale Varo, and Roko Tui Kadavu Mr. Ame Raratabu with Nabukelevu District School Head teacher Mr. Josese Salabiau and kindergarten students of Nabukelevu District School following the commissioning of the school’s solar project.

KADAVU – The Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management has successfully installed solar power panels at Nabukelevu District School in Kadavu, changing the educational environment and delivering light to over 100 students attending the remote rural school.

Prior to the implementation of the project, the students at Nabukelevu District School faced limitations in their studies, relying on solar lanterns for night studies. However, this assistance by the Government has changed this reality, opening up new opportunities for education and fostering a brighter future for the students.

Previously, the school heavily depended on a generator that provided electricity during specific periods in the morning and evening. With the introduction of solar power, this dependency is now a thing of the past. Nabukelevu District School is now equipped with 24-hour access to clean and renewable energy.

“Before we used to have a really hard time, especially with our night study sessions for our boarding students at the dormitory. Their night studies would depend on whether the solar lanterns were charged or not. Also, the school compound is always dark, but now we have solar security lights that are operational during the night,” Nabukelevu District School Head teacher Mr. Josese Salabiau.

The transformative impact of the solar project extends beyond the students to the teaching staff. Before the implementation of the solar project, teachers faced challenges working late into the night due to the unavailability of power. The introduction of solar energy not only allows them to extend their working hours but also facilitates the use of electrical equipment for educational purposes.

“For teachers, before we’d have to ensure that if we needed to print some lesson notes for the students, we could only do it during the designated times when the generator is on. But through this assistance by the Government, we can do this at any time, and now we can also work into the night to complete some of our tasking as we now have access to solar power round the clock.”

Hon. Ditoka said he understood the challenges faced by schools located away from the city. He said the project at Nabukelevu District School not only ensured better study conditions for students but also enhanced the working environment for teachers.

In addressing the students during the commissioning of the project, Hon. Ditoka also encouraged the students to work hard in school to become good future leaders.

“This development that we are commissioning here today is the responsibility of the Government. It is the responsibility of all Governments, the past, present and future governments to serve the people. We will see where and how we can help, and we hope what we have today will help progress the good work already being done by the school.

Funded under the Ministry of Rural and Development and Disaster Management’s Self–Help Programme (SHP) at $42,000, the project included the installation of solar power 7 teachers’ quarters, 1 dormitory, 1 kindergarten, 2 school blocks, and security lights at the school’s playground.

Caption: Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Hon. Sakiasi Ditoka and other Government officials with villagers of Nabukelevu-I-Ra Village in the district of Nabukelevu in Kadavu following the commissioning of their newly retrofitted evacuation center.

Meanwhile, Minister Ditoka also commissioned two other solar projects at Muani Village in the district of Ravitaki and Muanisolo Village in the district of Naceva in Kadavu.

Both projects were funded by Australian Aid, to provide lighting systems in the designated evacuation centres in the two villages.

Caption: Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Hon. Sakiasi Ditoka with villagers of Muanisolo in Naceva, Kadavu after the commissioning of their solar lighting project.