Philips to install solar systems in rural areas

BY: Samuel K. Obour

Philips, manufacturers of electrical appliances, is to install 26 solar-powered lighting systems in some rural communities as part of its corporate social responsibility.

The installation of the solar lighting projects is in partnership with the Royal Netherlands Football Association (A.K.A KNVB) and is scheduled to be completed by 2015.

The project, supported by the Dutch government, will install nine of the solar lights in Tamale, Accra and Greater Accra by the end of 2013.

The selected communities are yet to be disclosed.

As part of the projects objective, 400 basic schools are expected to be trained on water and sanitation issues.

Speaking at a press conference in Accra, the Senior Vice-President of Philips South Africa, Mr JJ Van Dongen, explained the objective of the project as a means of supporting developing countries, with focus on rural communities.

The corporate social responsibility of the company, which is known as “Philips Cape Town to Cairo Roadshow,” is geared towards 13 African countries, including Ghana.

It is also expected to train 1,000 peer educators for the selected communities on personal hygiene and life skills.

“The concept of the community light centres is to create areas of light for rural communities which live without electricity, thus creating numerous opportunities for social, sporting and economic activities in the evening,” Mr Dongen said.

The objective of the solar lighting system is to enhance performance of the youth in sports and education.

Mr Dongen said solar lights were cost effective, reliable and energy efficient.

The Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, Mr Joseph Yammin, commended the company for its initiative in Ghana and other African countries.

“Sports is one of the activities that bring people, communities and nations together and needs to be encouraged in rural communities”, he added.

By Jennifer Ansah