Tanks and solar panels installed by the Rotary Club of Umina Beach at a primary school in Papua New Guinea have proved a success.
In a letter from the Vakuta primary school, the club was told how water tanks and solar panels were performing and what the school had been up to since Rotary completed their work there. “The school and community are using the water from the six water tanks installed,” Mr Geoff Melville said the club had been told. “Previously, during the dry season, the school had to call off classes in the afternoon, as the students and teachers had to fetch water for drinking and cooking from the springs located in the caves, which are at least a 20 minute walk through thick bush from the village. “The tank installation has had a massive impact on school attendance. “A constant water supply ensures the school is open for the full day. “To date, the water tanks, and gutters are all in good condition and the community and school are taking care of these assets. “Previous to the project, the school was known as a dark school and now is known as a bright school. “The school and community is enjoying the lighting however solar power supply can be affected by a lot of rain. “Teachers are now using the solar lighting to sit up at night preparing their daily programs and plans for the next day’s lessons. “Students, especially the grade students, are carrying out two hours’ extra study sessions in the evenings to prepare themselves for the national exams and extra or remedial classes,” Mr Melville continued. “The teachers are also utilising the power to charge phones improving communication systems. “The power is also being used for the activities by the school and or community during school holidays. “The two solar pole lights have reduced the occurrence of thieves coming into the school to steal school property. “Even the lighting from the solar battery power bank used in the teacher’s houses has reduced the occurrence of theft. “The school has now purchased a printer which is expected to reduce printing costs. “The school has purchased a 2KVA generator, as a standby for future proofi ng the potential for other powered devices to be used by the school. “The school has purchased a Digicel TV box (yet to be installed) which will be powered by the solar or if needed the generator will be utilised. “The purpose of the TV box is to allow the viewing of educational programs, especially current affairs, and will be looking to connect Vakuta primary school with other schools in Papua New Guinea or world through news. “The school will also use the TV box for fund raising and hope to bring a major source of income,” Mr Melville said. SOURCE: Newsletter, 26 Jul 2017 Geoff Melville, Rotary Club of Umina Beach