Digicel Innovation: Solar Mobile Phone Charger for Hula Village
Hula village is the biggest in Central Province and home to 6000 people. They are the first village in the province to now have the opportunity to charge their mobile phones back home, thanks to support from Digicel, the New Zealand government and International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group. The development partners echoed the same message that improved communication through the solar charging station in rural areas has many benefits.
The solar charging station comprises of a solar panel which powers a street light and also the charging station where villagers can charge their mobile phones at a minimal cost.
The model was launched at Hula village yesterday by joint partners Digicel PNG, New Zealand Government and International Finance Corporation, a Member of the World Bank Group.
In this case, the people of Hula village can charge their mobile phones and at the same time have a street light in their village. The solar charging station can charge up to 20 mobile phones simultaneously. The model was jointly launched by all development partners.
IFC Pacific Regional Manager, Gavin Murray, said IFC stands ready to assist private enterprises to eliminate poverty and promote shared prosperity. It has done so with Digicel through the solar charging station.
Digicel Chief Operation Officer, Darren McLean, said Papua New Guinea is the first in the Pacific Region to trial out the model, one that has taken the mobile phone company one year to develop.
Village Councillor, Salote Ravu, said her people depend entirely on the sea for their livelihood, thus they are reknown fisherman and such initiatives give them extra spin – off benefits. She commended all development partners for choosing Hula village among the rest.
Following the success of the Hula Solar Charging Project, about 30 other solar charging stations will be launched soon in selected communities throughout the country.