6.3 million people in PNG live without access to the electricity grid. Solar lighting and energy technology presents a significant opportunity to provide clean, sustainable and affordable lighting solutions to off-grid communities in PNG. Improving PNG’s solar infrastructure benefits education, income generation, the environment and health outcomes for local people.
Our project illuminates homes in remote and rural PNG through the installation of lighting and energy systems for entire homes. Each system lights up 3 to 4 rooms, contains and outside light, and a charging station for families to charge mobile phones and other USB powered devices. As well as installation of the systems, we also deliver a solar energy education program to people receiving the household solar systems and train local women and men to install, undertake maintenance and understand the science and benefits behind solar technology and other renewable solutions. These systems reduce the need to burn toxic kerosene for a source of light, as well as reduce the need to spend precious and hard earned income on expensive torch batteries. The benefits for education, health, safety and environment are impressive.
Where are we connecting villages?
Our current focus region for Village Connect is the communities located along and in the immediate catchment region of the Kokoda Track. To date, we have installed 356 systems, illuminated all homes in Manari, Kou Kou 1, Kou Kou 2, Naduri, Alola, Abuari, Kagi, Efogi 1 and Efogi 2 villages. These systems provide clean and reliable lighting and energy to over 2,000 people living in the remote Track communities.
We are partnering with various Kokoda trek operators and the Kokoda Initiative to illuminate all households in all villages along the Kokoda Track. We are delivering mosquito nets to all households who receive the lighting to ensure families are protected from any increase in mosquitos as a result of less wood fires.