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Stories of Hope

Solar Project in Panipiason

 

In 2019, GFF HELPS Philippines Team has worked on Solar Project in two new villages following the success of the first Solar Project in Panipiason in January of the same year. Medina and Mamba are neighbouring villages of Panipiason, located in the furthest mountains of Madalag, Aklan. Both villages have only been connected to the main electrical grid two to three years ago. However, many residents, especially those who live very far away from the village centre and those who cannot afford the labour costs are still using kerosene for light at night.

A lot of households share similar circumstances with regards to sharing a small house between at least five to eight people, lack of permanent job or no consistent source of income and inability to afford the fees that comes with connecting to the main line despite living near a power line. The rest of the recipients live 4-5 hours walk away, in which we could not visit as advised by the local government officials. There is no pathwalk and their houses are in the mountainous areas that even the local officials find difficult to go to. Due to financial hardship and distance of their houses, they have no choice but to use kerosene or candles for light. This affects their daily lives as their days are shorter than those with electricity and cannot do other activities that may seem normal to others like cooking dinner after dark or helping their children with their homework at night.

By providing the solar kits to 115 new families in Medina and Mamba, we did not only provide light for basic use but we also give them a sense of security in their own homes. Families are now able to create better memories as they have their dinner where they can see each other’s faces. Children will no longer be scared of the dark at night. Parents will be able to prepare meals for their children at dawn. They were also very thankful as they no longer need to use kerosene. Not only that it saves them money but it also safer for their health as inhaling the smoke from kerosene could lead to respiratory diseases. Now, they are not only living safely but also sustainably. Recipients have expressed their gratitude to Sir Owen Glenn, the volunteers and LGU and are looking forward to using their solar panels for a long time. They promised to look after and maintain their solar kits so they won’t get damaged as they saw the huge impact on their lives. We can conclude that Solar Project Phase 2-4 have been a success as the recipients see its value and has already impacted their lives in many ways.

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