..distributes 300 solar system to rural women
The First Lady of Ondo State, Chief (Mrs) Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, today, flagged off the distribution of solar home system to the rural women across the state, under the ‘Arabirin Lights Up Ondo State’ initiative.
To this end, she released 300 out of the 1,000 Solar System target, at the official flag off ceremony held at the Rotunda Government house ground, Alagbaka Akure, the state capital.
The initiative, is powered by the BeMore Empowered initiative in collaboration with the office of the First Lady, and it was conceived during the 2021 edition of the BeMore Summer Bootcamp where 400 girls were given the solar system to power their houses.
According to her, the first phase of the exercise had a large number of beneficiaries from the riverine area of Ondo State, due to the fact that they were mostly affected by darkness as a result of lack of access to the national grid; adding that the Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission, OSOPADEC, was a major supporter of BEMORE EMPOWERED initiative.
Mrs. Akeredolu, founder of BEMORE, explained that the solar system distribution was to enable the rural women have access to light and serve as an alternative to the epileptic power supply, saying “Now we have a technology that is at our fingertips, a technology you can use to harness sunlight that is free all year-round, renewable and inexhaustible.
“As rightly said, our target is a thousand home; already we’ve lit up 400 homes through our BEMORE girls, then, this 300 will be for our women in OSOPADEC area and women that are lucky to win raffle draw at the FOWOSO summit”.
The Ondo First Lady, who acknowledged the commitment of OSOPADEC in sponsoring hundreds of girls from the area to participate in the programme, expressed optimism that in five years time, the human capacity that would come from that area would be amazing.
Applauding the immediate past Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Gbenga Edema, for buying into her BEMORE vision, Her Excellency said: “My slogan of ReducingFilaToIncreaseGele will become a reality”.
She, therefore, mandated the beneficiaries to engage BEMORE girls in their areas for the installation of the solar system with a consultancy fee, which they would be saving for their University education.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Coordinator of BEMORE Empowered Foundation, Mr. Bassey Obeten, had explained that the initiative was geared towards empowering rural women in terms of giving them access to stable light, since they couldn’t afford generator set and to also reduce the hazards of using the generator.
According to him, with this official flag off and the BEMORE girls’ portions, the Ondo State First Lady had lighted 700 homes within a year, and that the gesture would reach 1,000.
In his goodwill message, the Permanent Secretary of OSOPADEC, Dr. Koledoye, lauded Her Excellency’s initiative, noting that not much had been done for girls and women in Ondo State prior to the coming of Mrs. Akeredolu, hence, the reason the Commission keyed into her programmes.
According to him, the Ondo First Lady came with a rare and impactful vision, and was optimistic that the initiatives would surpass the current administration; while assuring that OSOPADEC would continue to support her.
On her part, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs. Foluke Daramola, thanked the First Lady on behalf of Ondo women for prioritising their welfare, and admitted that the solar system would make life more meaningful for the women.
By Mary Agidi
Special Assistant to the Governor on Media
(Office of the First Lady)
Dec., 14th, 2021.