Twelve households in Halmillawe– a hamlet in Anuradhapura, were the first recipients of solar power home lighting systems under John Keells Foundation’s (JKF) latest sustainability related initiative.
The initiative also included the installation of 11 solar-powered street lamps.
The village was selected based on the number of permanent houses which did not have access to grid electricity and the fact that the entire village had no street lamps in spite of being vulnerable to human-elephant conflict coupled with the Foundation’s established links with the village through its Village Adoption Project.
Following the technical assessment commissioned by JKF, sites for consideration were proposed by the village development committee under the patronage of Ven. Meegoda Athulasiri, the village temple’s head priest, in consultation with the solar power supplier’s technical manager, whilst the Divisional Secretary coordinated Government approvals for street lamps’ installation. The John Keells Group hotel Cinnamon Lodge, Habarana, provided ground support to the Foundation in planning and implementing this initiative.
The initiative was launched by CSR Head Ms. Nadija Tambiah and Manager CSR Ms. Carmeline Jayasuriya who switched on the solar powered lights in a house in close proximity to a forest following a simple ceremony presided over by Rev. Athulasiri, project’s beneficiary families and John Keells Group representatives.
Athulasiri lauded JKF for the wide range of development work carried out in Halmillawe amidst many obstacles and challenges. Recalling the time when electricity supply was first mooted, the monk noted the uphill task of obtaining national grid power and the many households that have still not been able to benefit from the system. He thanked JKF for coming to the help of these disadvantaged families, especially considering the difficulties faced by schoolchildren.
Speaking on JKF’s behalf, Ms. Carmeline Jayasuriya thanked the head monk for his support and guidance in regard to Halmillawe’s development activities and for coordinating the village’s solar power initiative. She requested the villagers for their support in maintaining the systems.