The Jakarta Post
A woman weaves 'lontar' (palm) leaves illuminated by a solar-powered lantern on Solor Island, East Nusa Tenggara. Weaving is mostly done by women in the evening, as they work in the fields during the day. (Samsung/-)
Samsung Electronics Indonesia has announced that it donated 3,000 solar-powered lanterns to East Kutai regency in East Kalimantan and East Flores regency in East Nusa Tenggara.
Both regencies lack access to electricity, and on this year’s Earth Day (April 22), the company distributed 1,500 solar lanterns to each regency.
The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has set a target to achieve equal access to electricity across the country this year, and has made a number of efforts to provide electricity to Indonesia’s rural areas.
In January 2017, Energy and Mineral Resources Deputy Minister Arcandra Tahar signed a ministerial decree aimed at expediting electricity development in 2,500 remote villages across the nation.
In September, the government expanded its electrification program to 1,008 more villages. A total of 73,149 villages have received electricity under the initiative.
In December, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said his government would electrify villages across Papua and West Papua provinces in 2018. The President said that currently, some 3,000 villages across the country had not received electricity, 2,000 of which were in Papua.
Following the donation, East Flores Regent Antonius Gege Hajon said, “It is just what we need. With these lanterns, children can study in the evening and women are able to finish their woven fabric orders faster.”
A boy studies beside a solar-powered lantern. (Samsung/-)
The woven fabric of Solor Island in East Flores has become increasingly popular, with orders coming from abroad. It will also be used for official Asian Games merchandise products.
Weaving is mostly done by women in the evening, as they work in the fields during the day, while the majority of men work as migrant workers.
“The solar-powered lanterns are easy to use. They don’t need electricity nor complicated maintenance,” said Kanghyun Lee, vice president of Samsung Electronics Indonesia.
Meanwhile, East Kutai Regent H. Ismunandar said, “There is electricity in our regency, but it is still the bare minimum. It is not uncommon to experience blackouts in the evening,” said.
The solar-powered lanterns were chosen as an environmentally friendly source of light. To emit 12 hours of light, the lanterns need to be exposed to 10 hours of direct sunlight. They have three lighting modes: bright, very bright and flashing. The lanterns are also portable, making them easy to carry during the night. (wng)