Over 200 Kumu, Quarrie households get first-time access to electricity

Approximately 200 households in Kumu and Quarrie – satellite villages of St Ignatius, Central Rupununi, Region Nine, now have first-time access to reliable electricity, after receiving solar photovoltaic (PV) home systems through the government’s Solar Home Systems Project.

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai handed over the solar systems to the residents Wednesday last, in keeping with the government’s commitment to ensure Amerindian communities are energy-secured.

Minister Sukhai noted that the government has acknowledged the challenges of supplying electricity to every remote village, hence the move to distribute the solar panels in the interim.

“In the meantime, what we are doing is to ensure that you have lights so that you can continue to do much more even in the evenings,” she told the residents.

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai addressing residents of Kumu

With reliable electricity now available, children and youths in Kumu and Quarrie can study comfortably in their homes.

“In many of our homes, we don’t have electricity and the time to study which is beyond school hours, sometimes we don’t get to do that,” the minister relayed.

Over the past few days, Karasabai Village also received PV home systems that were delivered by Prime Minister, Brigadier Retired Mark Phillips.

On Tuesday last, Achiwuib, Rupunau, and Karaudanau also received panels that were distributed by the Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Anand Persaud. In Achiwuib, some 134 panels were distributed, 75 panels in Rupunau and 237 in Karaudanau.

Regional Chairman, Brian Allicock informed the Department of Public Information (DPI) that over 2,000 systems will be distributed to households without electricity in Region Nine.

Regional Chairman, Brian Allicock

The Solar Home Systems Project will see 30,000 households in the hinterland, riverine, and rural communities receiving a 150-watt solar system, an upgrade to the previous ones distributed in 2014. This is intended to bridge the large energy divide between urban and rural communities.

The programme was initially expected to roll out in 2015. However, when the previous administration assumed office, fiscal resources for the project were stalled, and solar systems were not distributed to these vulnerable communities. When the PPP/C Administration assumed office, after months of discussions, a US$7.2 million credit agreement between the Governments of Guyana and India, facilitated by the Exim Bank was signed.