Japan begins provision of solar electricity to Nigerian communiuties
JAPAN, a country that has helped strategically in the development of rural Nigeria especially, since 1998, has again started a new wave of development in the rural communities through the provision of solar electricity in the rural communities. The project, which grant aggrement was signed in the nation’s capital on Monday, will commence with the provision of 75 durable and portable solar panels to Kabo community in Gurara local government area of Niger State.
The project which is a joint partnership between the Japanese government and Kawaguchi Energy Natural Solution (Kens.co), a Japanese private company, is being inmplemented in conjunction with a local non governmental organisation, Centre for Development and Partnership. It is to provide electricity to five community centres, the streets, clinics and schools.
The project is funded under a grant from the Japanese embassy in Nigeria to the tune of over $92,000. Development partners stated that though the initial project is being implemented under a fully funded grant, the ultimate goal is to make it available in the market to a large portion of the 85 million Nigerians who do not have access to power.
The Kabo community used to be in this figure according to Japanese ambassador Ryuchi Shoji, who stated that the community has requested to be part of Nigeria’s national grid for ten years without success. During this period, he said that school children cannot study after dusk, women in labour risked unsafe delivery at night because of poor lighting at the clinics while social and economic activities practically grind to a halt once it is dusk.
“The project will provide 75 solar panels with LED light designed with high technology and manufactured by a Japanese company. Access to electricity in daily life is fundamental to improving the quality of life andis a key for social and economic development. The Japanese solar technology can be a strong help in realising such basic human needs in the rural areas. I believe that this project will serve as a foothold to bring more lights and hopes to the Nigerian people”, the ambassador said.
For Japan, the project which will be completed by Summer 2015, will be a step towards an eventual establishment of an assembly palnt for the solar panels in NIgeria. Already, an aggreement has been reached with the Gurara local government authorities to ensure that batteries can b e provided for replacement when the need arises. According to the implementing partners, the batteries will last at least three years while the panels are expected to perform optimally for five years.
The protability and ease of movement of the panels from one house to the other was demonstrated to the media. And implementing partners assured of transfer of technical know-how to Nigerians.