Australia is helping Solomon Islands to benefit from renewable energy, by supporting solar energy projects in Malaita.

The Australian Deputy High Commissioner, Ms Alison Duncan, officially handed over a Solar Energy Project to Kafoburasi Village in North Malaita last week. The project was funded by the Australian Government's Community Sector Program.

The Australian Government donated $90,000 for two solar charge stations and batteries which were given to the members of Kafoburasi communities. Village elders, women and youth representatives thanked the Australian Government and its Community Sector Program for the generous support to community members and highly commended the strong partnership Australian Government has made through CSP with the people of Malaita and for the support the program has given to Kafoburasi and other communities within Northern Region.

The women of Kafoburasi said the solar project would make it easier for children to do their homework and would save time and money for households who no longer had to buy expensive fuel for lighting at home.

The equipment was installed by Willies Electrics who also provided training in the use, care and maintenance of the equipment and donated an additional battery and lights to the community. Kafoburasi community contributed labour and materials. Kafoburiasi is one of 10 villages in Malaita, and 47 villages across the country, that took part in a pilot project focusing on participatory planning and capacity building and has been working in partnership with Australia's Community Sector Program for two years. With support from the Community Sector Program, the village has produced a development plan and participated in a series of training activities aimed at improving village planning and management.

Ms Duncan was Guest of Honour at the hand-over ceremony on 3 March which was also attended by Second Secretary from the Australian High Commission, Ms Hannah Churton, Provincial Government officers and representatives from CSP.