Gov’t distributes solar panels to North Rupununi communities

The residents of Apoteri, Rewa, and Crashwater in the North Rupununi, Region 9 are now recipients of scores of solar panels as the government advances the 30,000-household solar electrification programme.

Visiting the communities to hand over the equipment, Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat highlighted that the government, since reassuming office in 2020, began the strenuous work to ensure that the promise was fulfilled.

“When we came back into government in 2020, we immediately started working towards fulfilling the promise of bringing a solar panel to every single household in the hinterland communities across the country, and today we are fulfilling that promise,” he noted.

Minister Bharrat addressing a gathering at Apoteri village

Minister Bharrat said that this project was revitalised by the government because of the constant people-to-people engagements where the issues of electricity and connectivity were raised.

“It is important because we know how difficult it is especially for the little children and the teachers also…When you get home and it gets dark so fast, you need light to ensure that you finish your homework…[and] that you study for your test,” the minister pointed out.

Several residents from all three of the villages lauded the initiative as one that was timely.

The distribution of these solar panels forms part of the government’s holistic effort to deliver an energy mix that includes renewable energy sources.

Meanwhile, Minister Bharrat also commissioned a new ICT hub in the community of Crashwater.

The hub is outfitted with 20 laptops, chargers, and free internet access.

“We have been working with every community to set up the ICT hub where you have [an] internet connection. But if you have [an] internet connection and you have your phone, how will you charge it? You will need the solar panel to stay connected,” he explained.

Some 30,000 households in the hinterland, rural, and riverine communities are expected to benefit from the initiative.

The project was made possible following the signing of a US$7.2 million credit agreement between the Governments of Guyana and India and facilitated by the Exim Bank.