Solar Systems for Community Access Points

Story Highlights

  • Newly established Community Access Points (CAPs) are to be outfitted with solar systems as the Government works to ensure the sustainability of operations at these sites.
  • Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, made the announcement during his contribution to the 2017/18 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, yesterday (April 18).
  • In addition, community awareness programmes are to be undertaken to ensure that the immediate community and surrounding areas know where CAP sites are, and new ways will be explored to lower the cost of keeping CAP sites running.

Newly established Community Access Points (CAPs) are to be outfitted with solar systems as the Government works to ensure the sustainability of operations at these sites.

This exercise is to be carried out by the Universal Service Fund (USF), which is also to begin retrofitting old CAP sites with these systems.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, made the announcement during his contribution to the 2017/18 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, yesterday (April 18).

Dr. Wheatley further informed that programmes are also to be developed to train and teach community members about the value of CAPs and highlight the opportunities that can be derived from their use.

In addition, community awareness programmes are to be undertaken to ensure that the immediate community and surrounding areas know where CAP sites are, and new ways will be explored to lower the cost of keeping CAP sites running.

These measures are being undertaken to address issues pertaining to the running of the CAPs and to make the necessary improvements.

They include the high cost of running CAP sites; sustainability of the CAP sites after deployment, where more than 70 were deemed “not functioning”; and usage of the CAPs to their full potential, as many CAPs were being underutilised or being used idly.

The Minister further informed that the exercise will also serve to increase awareness of the existence of CAP sites, noting that CAPs were deployed in communities, but people did not know where they were.

He noted that CAPs enable community members to use the Internet at minimal or no cost to them to facilitate research, bill payments, education, communication, business, marketing, and social networking.

“In keeping with this Administration’s goal of creating a truly knowledge-based society, we believe that the continued roll-out of CAPs is very important,” he said.

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