473 households in Region One receive solar systems, boosting electricity access

$500M expended to provide over 8,700 solar panels in region

On Saturday, 473 more households in hinterland communities in Region One gained improved access to electricity through the government’s Solar Home Systems Project.

The distribution of the solar systems took place in several villages, including Kariako Village (113 systems), Kokerite (33 systems), Chinese Landing (49 systems), Waikrebi (74 systems), Warapoka (102 systems), Unity Grant (12 systems), and Santa Cruz (90 systems).

Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal

The beneficiaries expressed immense gratitude for the panels, which will significantly enhance their access to electricity.

Toshao of Kariako Village, Collis Samuels in lauding government’s expression of care to his community, emphasised the substantial improvement the solar panels would provide for residents who were previously without access to electricity.

“It will help us out a lot because we have our generator but it is not reaching to much of the households. It is just a few [residents] getting the generator,” he shared.

Teacher of Kariako Primary School, Mark Boyal underscored the enormous benefit of the solar panels to residents, especially students.

Boyal added, I feel much joy in my heart to receive the panels in the village, because it will give the students in our school more opportunities to read at night, to do their homework and assignments.”

Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal addressing residents

Toshao of Kokerite, Rufus Rodrigues noted that with the distribution of the panels students in the Village will now be able to advance their studies

Kokerite resident, Nigel Courtman described the donation as timely, noting that the purchase of the panels is outside the financial reach of many of the residents.

He expressed, many times, we are in darkness because not all of us can afford to buy solar panels. There are many people in the community who feel happy about the panels. The children can do something better with their education. And we, the old people, could do some things much better. There are many things, without light, that we cannot do.”

Beneficiary, James Henry, who was brimming with happiness, highlighted that residents of his village were eagerly anticipating receiving the panels which will improve their lives.

“I cannot express my feelings because it is filled with overjoy…for having to witness this joyous occasion, where we will be benefiting greatly from our government… Sometimes, we would go and charge our phones elsewhere, sometimes very far where there are no shops, Henry told DPI.

Beneficiary CamilleCourtman, happily expressed her joy that her children will finally be able to revise their schoolwork in the evenings with the enhanced access to electricity supply.

A section of the gathering

Meanwhile, Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal, during remarks at Kariako Primary School highlighted that government continues to invest heavily in the future of Guyana, noting that some $500 million was expended to provide over 8,700 solar panels throughout Region One.

Government is assiduously working to bridge the gap between the hinterland and the Coastland, to ensure that equitable opportunities, programmes and resources are provided, the minister assured. 

“A lot of resources are being poured in communities…whatever programme we have committed, we are ensuring that it is delivered…” the minister stressed.

Through this initiative, Moruca sub-region is benefitting from over 3,000 solar panels, with an injection of approximately $190 million. 

An investment of $6.7 million was expended for the panels for Kariako and $2 million for Kokerite. 

The minister was joined by Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Bishram Kuppen, Regional Vice Chairman, Annansha Peters and Senior Hinterland and Building Works Engineer of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), Cy Rodrigues.