#BudgetDebate2018: Solar lamps to be issued to poor households

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — In response to incidents where children have perished in fires originating from open flames in their homes, Prime Minister Andrew Holness says he has directed Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr Andrew Wheatley to develop a programme to make solar lamps available to energy-poor households.

Holness, who was making his contribution to the 2018 budget debate in the House of Representatives, disclosed that an initial quantity of 5,000 solar lamps have already been secured, and a system of identifying and distributing these solar lighting solutions to needy households is being developed.

He explained that for the last two years in his West Central St Andrew constituency, he has been focusing on roads and gullies but his focus this year will be improving the housing stock, especially in light of the fact that many houses, in their current condition, are fire hazards.

He said there is a significant number of rural and urban households without electricity connections or that are disconnected pending payments that rely on open flames as their source of light.

Holness further contended that with simple and inexpensive actions, Government can make a difference in the lives of energy poor households and significantly reduce or virtually eliminate the risk of these tragic fires.

“Using solar solutions to replace open flame light sources is an established policy response to address energy-poverty and there are many such programmes successfully implemented all over the world,” the prime minister added.

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