02 May 2019. 47 households of Vio Island now have access to a reliable source of electricity after Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama launched Phase 2 of the Fijian Rural Electrification Fund Program by switching on the pilot solar microgrid on the Island near Lautoka.
While officiating at the event, Bainimarama highlighted that people on Vio Island in the past had no access to electricity and relied entirely on kerosene lamps, candles and a few households having individual diesel generators that not only were loud and created harmful fumes but were also expensive to fuel up and maintain.
He says that the Electrification Trust Fund is tasked to enable access to clean, renewable and affordable electricity to rural and remote communities.
Bainimarama says that following the electrification of Vio Island, they now become the first ever Fijian community to have access to clean, renewable and affordable energy from a centralised micro‑grid solar system.
The Prime Minister says that the village now has access to 24 hours of clean electricity, children can study under electric light as opposed to dull kerosene lamps and candles and this has significantly empowered the community to be more productive and catalysed an improvement in the standard of living across generations.
He also highlighted that the establishment of the Fiji Rural Electrification Trust Fund is a key local initiative of the Fijian COP23 Presidency.
Bainimarama says that the Fiji Rural Electrification Trust Fund will provide people with a revolving fund structure where affordable tariff payments from these communities will be placed into a trust fund used to help electrify more rural communities throughout Fiji.