Hula village isthe biggest in Central Province and home to 6000 people. They arethe first village inthe province to now havethe opportunity to chargetheir mobile phones back home, thanks to support from Digicel,the New Zealand government andInternational Finance Corporation (IFC), a member oftheWorld Bank Group. The development partners echoedthe same message that improverd communication throughthe solar charging station in rural areas has many benefits.
The solar charging station comprises of a solar panel which powers a street light and alsothe charging station where villagers can chargetheir mobile phones at a minimal cost.
The model was launched at Hula village yesterday by joint partners DigicePNG, New Zealand Government andInternational Finance Corporation, a Member oftheWorld Bank Group.
IFC Pacific Regional Manager, Gavin Murray, said IFC stands ready to assist private enterprises to eliminate poverty and promote shared prosperity. It has done so with Digicel throughthe solar charging station.
Digicel Chief Operation Officer, Darren McLean, said Papua New Guineaisthe first inthe Pacific Region to trial outthe model, one that has takenthe mobile phone company one year to develop.
Village Councillor, Salote Ravu, said her people depend entirely onthe sea for their livelihood, thusthey are reknown fisherman and such initiatives givethem extra spin – off benefits. She commended all development partners for choosing Hula village amongthe rest.
Followingthe success ofthe Hula Solar Charging Projectoabout 30 ther solar charging stations will be launched soon in selected communities throughoutthe country.
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