|Jul 01, 2013 --
Outline Of Need:
Pohnpei Island is one of four remote states in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Kolonia Town, the capital of Pohnpei, experiences daily power outages, both scheduled and emergency, due to aging diesel generators at the public utility's electrical power plant. Many of these unpredictable events occur at night and can last for hours. Local crime rates increased during darkness at night, endangering local residents.
How Rural Development Helped:
USDA Rural Development assisted Kolonia Town with a $27,500 Community Facilities grant to purchase 15 sets of solar streetlights and utility poles. The grant was combined with $22,500 from the FSM Congress.
The new solar streetlights provide low-cost, reliable, all night roadside light to Pohnpei's largest residential and business community. This both enhances public safety and promotes peace in some of the island's most densely populated and highest crime rate areas. Illuminating the town's streets and public parks, the solar lights respond to the urgent need of this rural community for town security and public safety through the use of alternative energy.
"Rural Development has my immense gratitude for their contribution of funds for the solar street lights which immensely brighten the Town and the spirit of Kolonia Government and its residents," said Kolonia Town Mayor Casiano Shoniber.
"The newly lit areas will likely draw people out to enjoy use of the park, shopping, or just to stroll home, even when power is out," added Ambassador Doria Rosen. "They make it safer to navigate the streets after dark. Kolonia is setting the example of looking forward to improve the lives of its citizens in a way which is green and fiscally responsible."