Solar Home Brightens Yolanda Victims
Author: Darvin Tocmo Date Posted:14 December 2016
Thirty affected families from typhoon Yolanda in Costa Brava, Barangay 88 in Tacloban City just received their early Christmas gift from the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), in partnership with the housing rights group Urban Poor Associates, the UK-based charity Christian Aid, and the Costa Brava Homeowners Association, as they distributed the 30 Niwa solar home systems, which each came with three 300-lumen LED lamps, a nine-inch table fan, a solar panel and a battery. Costa Brava’s homeowners’ association struck a payment deal with the abovementioned civil society groups for the solar kits. They would pay Php 85 per week over the next two years to pay for the kits’ total cost of Php 8,700, according to ICSC project coordinator Arturo Tahup. “Their payments will go to their solidarity fund. Part of the money will be used to run solar street lights, assemble new solar TekPaks, and launch new Solar Scholars trainings,” Tahup said, referring to trainings for Yolanda survivors to learn how to use the TekPaks, or portable solar suitcases, especially in times of disasters. Civil society groups are urging the government to incorporate small renewable energy systems in humanitarian and reconstruction work because they are easy to deploy, as well as because they set the path towards the future low-carbon development of affected communities. In the case of Costa Brava, the solar home systems offer remedy to their lack of electricity access. “The people of Costa Brava have proven that through their own efforts, they can light up their homes on their own. And this light is fuelled not by dirty fuels but by renewable energy,” he said. The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities is a policy group in the Philippines promoting low-carbon development strategies, sustainable energy solutions and fair climate policy in vulnerable countries.