“Good Morning Rai Coast”

In Madang Province, Rai Coast is said to be the least developed, disadvantaged and challenging district due to its geographically terraneous location and sparsely located islands and communities.

However, Rai Coast is one of the most beautiful and resourceful districts with a rich history of culture, nature and of World War II relics.
 
Member for Rai Coast and Minister for Labour & Employment Kessy Sawang was exhilarated in officially launching the Rai Coast renewable energy project dubbed “Pawa bilong kirapim Raikos” with the presence of Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, John Feakes.
 
The K10 million project was a partnership between the Australian Government through the PNGAus Partnership and the Rai Coast District Development Authority. The project will see up to 12, 000 solar homes, 22 solar systems for community buildings such as churches, schools, aid posts and 750 street lights for the 27 wards in Saidor. Member Sawang stated that they will roll out Phase 1 in Saidor as it is the biggest Local Level Government (LLG) in the district, before rolling it out to Naho Rawad, Nay udo and Astrolabe Bay.
 
High Commissioner Feakes was pleased to have witnessed the event. In his address, he stressed on the benefits that such economic and social development projects contribute to including:
 
Increasing opportunities for children to study at night
Providing safer spaces for women and girls
Enabling community gatherings after dark
Improving health facilities capacity to respond to medical emergencies at night
 
High Commissioner Feakes said, “Australia is proud to support the Rai Coast project and we remain committed to working with our partners to create sustainable, community driven development opportunities across PNG.”
 
Madang Governor Ramsey Pariwa was part of the launching. He expressed his gratitude for the partnership and service of power reaching Rai Coast. He went on to invite the government of Australia to partner in more development work in Madang Province. 
 
Further to the renewable energy project, a solar hub will also be set up to support long-term maintenance and repair of the solar systems. Seventy-two (72) community members will be trained as ‘Solar Champions’ to troubleshoot problems relating to the solar systems installed.
 
The major impact and result that MP Sawang would like to see with the implementation of the project, is better academic results. Because of its geographical challenges and least development status, locals commonly refer to Rai Coast in a derogatory term as “Goodnight Rai Coast”. Member Sawang stated that this project will now be the foundation of Rai Coast’s journey in changing the nametag “Goodnight Rai Coast”, to “Good morning Rai Coast”.
 
The Government of Papua New Guinea in its Vision 2050 and PNG Development Strategic Plan has a target that by 2030, 70% of PNG must have access to clean energy. Member Sawang believes that off grid household solar systems are less costly than big grid energy systems and can potentially reach 80% of the country’s population who dwell in remote scattered rural villages, just like Rai Coast.
 
Member Sawang stated that although we now have new technologies like battery lanterns, and solar amongst others, most people still do not have access to energy. This project can break that cycle.
Author: 
Loop Author