let there be light...and electricity!

The Trobriand Archipelago island of Kitava, in Papua New Guinea, is a place of quiet beauty and generous hospitality. But living there can be harsh without mains electricity and water. What's more, sanitation is low, and infant mortality high. Having visited there twice, I return again in July, partly to see first-hand the three 9,000litre rainwater tanks I organised (with a lot of help from my friends and a few strangers!), to be installed there, but also to take with me three new solar generators (with solar panels, electrical cords and LED lightbulbs).

Goal Zero Australia and Adelaide-based retailer, Roof Rack City have helped make this happen with discounted solar-generators and panels. And AMK Enterprises, in Queensland, has come to the party; providing a number of household battery rechargers, solar panels and LED lighting. The free power generated from these will help people recharge their mobile phones, household batteries, and illuminate common areas in the island's villages at night. Kitava’s economy is almost wholly subsistence-based, so the less money (and time) spent buying and transporting diesel to the island for a few diesel generators, the better.

What’s more, solar generators are emissions-free, silent, and their batteries are readily replaceable and recyclable at the end of their life. Each unit is highly portable, and can be easily relocated to where emergency lighting is needed (for example, home-births at night).

Savings made from buying less diesel can be directed elsewhere: providing much-needed contraception; buying more rainwater tanks; improving the island’s only healthcare centre; repairing the island’s only car (used by the healthcare centre), and; repairing boat motors, for example. Each generator also makes an ideal item of study for school children!

If you’d like to contribute toward bringing much-needed renewable electricity to Kitava, please telephone +61 425 095 459, or email (me [at] marcdbowden dot com). $4,000 will provide three generators, solar panels, extension cords, powerboards and LED light globes. Every cent of funds received will be spent solely on these items and their transportation to Kitava (I pay for my own return flights to Kitava from Adelaide).

Thank you so much in advance, and thanks again to Goal Zero, Roof Rack City and AMK Enterprises—your generosity will help make a huge difference to Kitava's community!