Students of Moce Secondary School to soon have reliable source of electricity as UNDP-funded solar project begins

Students of Moce Secondary School to soon have reliable source of electricity as UNDP-funded solar project begins

By Ema Ganivatu
Saturday 26/08/2023
[Image: LAU Education/facebook]

Students of Moce Secondary School in Lau will soon have reliable source of electricity as the Lau Educational Charitable Trust in collaboration with the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme, is leading a project to bring solar power to Moce Secondary School funded by UNDP.

The Trust says the project aims to be significant, addressing both energy needs and environmental concerns.

They say through the dedication of Glen Finau, head of the Trust grants team and the team's hard work, they secured a US$40,000 grant for the project in April.

The Trust says this funding, combined with FJ$10,000 from the Moce Island diaspora, exceeded the initial budget of $85,000.

They say additional funds will not only power the secondary school but also provide solar energy for the kindergarten and four staff quarters.

School Principal, Ifereimi Taufa says they are extremely grateful for the generosity of the sons and daughters of Lau living abroad and their passion and commitment to improving the standards of education and facilities in Lau, which have declined in the last three decades.

The Trust’s Australia Director and China-based academic, Doctor Gina Balawanilotu says many such projects in the remote areas of Fiji fail in the long term because of equipment breakdown and no trained personnel to diagnose problems and then arrange repairs.

Dr. Balawanilotu says they aim to get this right in Moce and set the platform for all of the Lau projects into the future.

They say by late September, the 15kw solar installation will meet nearly 90 percent of the school's daily electricity needs, relieving them from their heavy reliance on expensive diesel generators.

The Trust says change not only promises quieter and cleaner surroundings but also a sense of responsibility for the environment among the youth.

They adds this project not only brings renewable energy but also empowers the community, instilling a sense of ownership, sustainability, and positive change.

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