(HONIARA). State Owned Enterprise, Solomon Power has recently energised 131 houses in the Mbahomea zone for Tina River Hydropower Development Project catchment communities which was funded under the Community Benefit Sharing Project (CBSP).
The CBSP, an initiative of the Tina River Hydropower Development Project through the Ministry of Mines, Energy, and Rural Electrification (MMERE), was created with a mandate to provide positive impacts in the project area by the investment in basic services and infrastructure for the local communities. The 11kV/415Vnetwork transmission line extension works from Black Post Road and the energising of households within the Tina Benefits Share Communities, makes up a significant part of the project and SIG’s commitment to delivering earlier benefits to host communities.
Solomon Power Chief Executive Officer (Acting) Mr. Martin Sam said, “Solomon Power is pleased to partner with CBSP and the government with this initiative. These household connections are similar to those of the Output Based Aid (OBA) program, which are limited to 10 amps and come with three lights and two power points. This initiative is in line with Solomon Powers vision of ‘Energising our Nation’ and it will boost the standard of living of the communities at Mbahomea.”
David Siriu, Principal Inspector of Solomon Power also said “We have inspected the houses and they are all wired according to our standards.” The areas that now have access to electricity includes Marava/Ngongoti community, Rate School, Horohotu and Tina Village.
CBSP Coordinator, Francis Kapini also proudly stated that “it is an encouraging sign going forward, now that the CBSP is fulfilling one of its mandates in component two and the 11kV/415V network extension will enable communities in the Tina River Hydro Project area to have access to electricity by connecting to the Honiara power grid.”
All the recipients were also very happy now that they have power in their houses. “I am very happy. Now I do not need to use my torch anymore at night,” said Betsy.
Sharing a similar sentiment is Abilene Chenisi, one resident of Verabariki settlement in Horohotu village. “I am very excited to see electricity reaching us here in rural Guadalcanal. The good thing is that we have not spent a single cent to access it, thanks to the national government through the Tina River Hydro Project and the donors of the CBSP,” Abilene said.
As a flagship project of the national government, this milestone achievement at Tina also fulfils the Thematic area 3: Electric power (rural) of the Solomon Islands National Energy Policy (SINEP) 2019. The Policy outcome 3.1 of SINEP emphasizes on access to electricity in rural households and institutions with a projected increase to 35% by 2030. –ENDS//