450 Swan, Waiakabra households receive solar panel units

Some 450 households in Swan and Waiakabra along the Soesdyke-Linden Highway are the newest beneficiaries of the government’s Solar Home Systems project.  

Speaking to the Department of Public Information (DPI) on Thursday, many residents expressed that these units will greatly impact the schoolchildren living in these villages, enabling them to complete their studies in better conditions.

Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy

Mary Wilson who lives in Waiakabra expressed, “I feel so happy because the place used to be very dark. I want to thank the president for the solar because it is a benefit for the Waiakabra people. It’s good for the children, for school, because sometimes when they have blackouts, they would have no light to see, to do homework and schoolwork.”

Mary Wilson, beneficiary

Resident for some 20 years, Lloyd DeFreitas told DPI that the initiative is instrumental in enhancing the livelihood of the residents, especially since they have been living without adequate access to electricity for many years.

“I must say thanks to the Government of Guyana for making this possible for the people in Waiakabra…The president spoke of these panels and he is a man of his word, so I must give him credit for the good work he is doing within the ten regions of Guyana, especially in the hinterland areas,” DeFreitas stated.

Lloyd DeFreitas, beneficiary

He said all of the developments that the community received since the PPP/C Administration took office must be commended.

“We have an ICT hub and the children can have access to their exams online. They can do their homework. Rather than going down to Soesdyke, they can come right here within a few minutes and get it done. I am thankful for this,” he said.

Another resident, Indra Peters said, “I would like to thank the president for giving us the solar, and the other things he will do for us. It will be a good thing for me and the schoolchildren.”

Lorna Welcome, beneficiary

Meanwhile, Lorna Welcome of Swan expressed similar sentiments, stating, “I have three children going to school, and when the lights come off, we are left in the dark. We would have to go buy candles, so I am so happy that when the light comes off, we still have the solar so that the schoolchildren can continue with their work. I’m so happy about it. Thank God.”

For Charles Richards, the distribution of these units is reflective of the government’s presence in communities.

Charles Richards, beneficiary

He expressed, “I feel so good about it. It is a good initiative for the community and it will benefit a lot of people here, especially children going to school because most people don’t get light from the power lines, so this will come in handy. I like that the government is thinking about us.”

Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with Responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy, said the distribution exercise is yet another demonstration of the government’s commitment to fulfilling its promises.

He noted that the 2020 manifesto laid out a comprehensive plan for the delivery of affordable, stable, and reliable energy to households and businesses, through the implementation of an energy mix that includes hydropower, solar, and wind.

“What you are receiving today, in a tangible package of a solar power unit is related to this promise, and I hope you see how our plans are connected to what is unfolding in your community, your households, and our people. Every single promise we made to the people of this country, we are about 90 per cent in the achievement and delivery of those promises,” the minister told residents in Swan.

The Solar Home Systems Project will see 30,000 households in the hinterland, riverine, and rural communities receiving a 150-watt solar system, to bridge the energy divide between the urban and rural communities.

These units were acquired through a US$7.2 million line of credit agreement between the Government of Guyana and the Government of India via the Exim Bank and will be distributed to the hinterland households, as well as several Amerindian villages along the coast.

To date, approximately 11,800 panels have been distributed as part of the initiative.