One of the major challenges that communities face is the lack of power connection from the power grid for electricity. The situation was further aggravated after typhoon Haiyan with months of power blackout. The project integrated the use of solar energy in order to address the problem.
Iloilo CODE-NGOs has made preliminary assessment on the viability of using solar power for households and for off-grid small island communities. Through the project, it was able to construct and establish solar-powered charging stations now managed and operated by fisherfolks and community associations.
The initiative has delivered impressive impact to the communities. It resulted in reducing their dependence on fossil fuels use among households and fisherfolks, made lighting accessible to households near charging stations and provided light in the community during nighttime which improved safety and security, especially among women and children.
At the household level, solar power made household work convenient and efficient at night. It also improved safety by reducing risks of catching fire from using flammable lighting devices like kerosene lamps and offered saving on expenses from fuel and charging batteries.
The heads of the family among beneficiaries likewise shared that lighting has allowed their children to study at night. It improved their study habits and significantly contributed in improving the performance of their children at school.
There are 10 barangays across three municipalities that benefited in the establishment of solar charging stations which are managed by 10 fisherfolk associations with a total number of approximately 700 members. They also use solar power for livelihood activities while 100 poor households benefited from the solar home systems implemented by the project in partnership with the Institute on Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC).