Lamenaura French Primary School on the island of Tanna is a proud recipient of the National Green Energy Fund (NGEF) loan scheme.
This came about after an awareness was carried out by NGEF and the Department of Energy (DoE) at this French primary school with Principal, Jean-Bosco Yakis and a few teachers last year.
The school council applied for a loan at NGEF to enable the school to purchase a solar system to provide electricity.
According to the loan agreement, the system will provide electricity to operate lights for evening classes, security lights, photocopier/printer, teacher’s laptops including access to emails.
Located at Middlebush, the school with 164 children had a system that was not functioning in full due to lack of access of electricity and the high cost and unavailability of fuel to run generators at the school.
Principal Yakis said the school has a very high expense that included transport costs so teachers were able to access their emails at the TAFEA Provincial headquarter or at internet cafes around Lenakel town.
“The school was established in 2002 and it has been years of having to spent on transport just so we can check on emails at the main office and students cannot come to night classes to do their studies,” he said.
“Today you can see the enthusiasm in the students to want to come to school every day and in the evenings to do their studies because we now have lights in the school and security lights too.
“We are grateful that we now have power that is generated using renewable resource that will help cut down some of our expenses so we can use the money on other needs of our school.”
NGEF is helping to channel finance toward clean technologies and infrastructure on remote islands.
It aims to boost households and public institutions’ energy access, while also providing a pathway for local businesses and industries to invest in clean and climate-resilient energy that meets their economic needs.
Therefore, the school was granted a solar system of 1177Watt/hours per day that costs VT 376,700 but with just VT61,000 as upfront payment.
The soft loan of 6% annual interest and two years to be repaid, makes it so affordable for the school to have such system.
Georgewin Garae as the Fund Manager of NGEF said the consistent supply of electricity will also enable the school to use emails but more importantly the Open VEMIS system of the Ministry of Education for daily uploading of school reports.
“NGEF is here to help you afford and access renewable energy sources such as Solar Home Systems or even Micro-Grids which has only been a dream to public institutions, small businesses and households in past years,” he said.
NGEF was established by the government and technical support from the Global Green Growth Institute.