Petrus Patineman (30 years old) and Jublina (26 years old) are husband and wife living in Mbatakkapidu Village, Waingapu Subdistrict, East Sumba District. Their children, Jones (10 years old) and Andreas (8 years old) attend Mbatakkapidu Elementary School, Waingapu Subdistrict. They are too far from electricity supply even though the distance to Waingapu is relatively close. In East Sumba, there are 52,178 households, only 26,063 households or 50% of them have access to electricity (East Sumba in Figures, Indonesian Statistics, 2017).
Petrus and Jublina family along with many other families are unable to carry on their activities during the night time due to lighting issues. Children such as Jones and Andreas also have to experience the absence of electricity supply which made them difficult to study and do their school tasks during the night time. The kerosene lantern that they have can only last at most 2 hours. Not to mention the soot which often time distract their perspirations. When they cannot finish their homework, then they do it in school the following day. Or when they cannot finish their homework, they rather skip school instead of going to school with unfinished homework.
In 2016, TERANG (Investing in Renewable Energy for Rural, Remote Communities) Project – which is a partnership project between Hivos Consortium along with Yayasan Rumah Energi (YRE) and Village Infrastructure Angel (VIA) together with Millennium Challenge Account – Indonesia (MCA-I), were present to shed some hope for Petrus and Jubina family as well as other families in Sumba to acquire access to lighting facilities through renewable energy. This project provides access to lighting facilities in the form of construction of solar power plant installation in 25 schools in four districts in Sumba Island. Through the survey carried out by TERANG team, one of the schools that selected to receive the construction of solar power plant in May 2017 is the school of Jones and Andreas, Mbatakkapidu Elementary School.
TERANG Project through PT. RESCO (Renewable Energy Service Company) not only construct solar power plant installation, but also support the teaching and learning activities of teachers and students through providing 6,000 solar lanterns which students may rent and use in their houses in those four districts. TERANG Project applied the scheme of “leased-to-own” so that each student’s family may access a solar lantern with only IDR 50,000 per unit includes a membership fee from the total cost of IDR 300,000.
They recharge the lantern batteries for 300 times at IDR 1,500/lantern for each recharging time. The accumulated payment collected from this later used for maintenance and repair fees.
Petrus and Jublina didn’t want to waste the opportunities through the scheme of “leased-to-own”, Jublina decides to take 2 lanterns al at once in consideration to the number of children they have in Masehi Mbatakkapidu Elementary School.
She said, “I was the one who decided to apply for two lanterns, as I feel that these lanterns are important for my children’s learning activities and for lighting this house as well.”
It has been more than 5 months since the Petrus- Jublina family received and utilized the solar lanterns. So far, they are satisfied.
Petrus and Jublina family have been experienced the benefits of solar lanterns. Today, Jones and Andreas do not have to deal with the issues of lighting source anymore during the night time for their learning activities and doing their school housework. In addition to Jones and Andreas, Jublina also been able to make use of her night time with the weaving activities. Back when there was no electricity at all, Jublina normally was only able to weave during the daytime and in between the times when she was farming with Petrus and tending their pigs.
Today, with the presence of solar lanterns from TERANG Project, Jublina is able to produce a minimum of 2 woven mats every month compared to the condition before the presence of solar lanterns when she was only able to weave a piece of woven at. When she has more spare time, she is even able to finish weaving for only within a week.
In addition to weaving a mat, she is also be able to prepare the “pig rice” or pig feed during night time. Petrus can now accompany the children in their learning activities besides using his spare time to take a rest after working a full day in the field. He can go out of the house during night time to check his field because of the blessed of solar lantern. In comparison to other types of lanterns, these ones are brighter and highly portable. When there is a need to go out of the house, this lantern is indispensable. Walking in the night time becomes safer and more comfortable due to the bright lights emitted by these lights.