by Bernard Julian Patiño, Panglantaw Mindanao

 

A women farmers association in Tigbao, Zamboanga del Sur this year facilitated the installation of simple solar systems in ten of its household members in Barangay Begong for their electricity needs. Each system is capable of powering a couple of light bulbs, a radio and cell phone chargers. And each household pays (at least for the initial year) only P50 to P100 as maintenance fee. Tanie Suano, the project coordinator of KASAMMAKA (Kahugpungansa Mag-uuma go Mamumuong Kababayen-an or Organization of Women Farmers and Workers) said that they chose the households based on their remoteness from electric grids. She explained that the electrification project was meant to power KASAMMAKA’s farmer center and its production of organic fertilizers. Then they realized that the funds could accommodate some of the organization’s members. Suano added that the adoption of solar energy as an alternative source of electricity was the farmer group’s contribution to efforts at mitigating the damaging effects of climate change. The solar equipment were funded by the Luxembourg Ministry of Development Cooperation with the help of the Luxembourg-Philippines Action for Development and WEGA Aide Humanitaire. [PM]