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JKF lights up the lives of the Halmillawe community


Nadija Tambiah and Carmeline Jayasuriya launching the initiative

Engaging with the relevant stakeholders

The beneficiary families

Twelve households in the village of Halmillawe - a hamlet located in the Palugaswewa Divisional Secretariat of the Anuradhapura District - 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 eleven 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 the human-elephant conflict coupled with the Foundation's established links with the village through the Village Adoption Project.

Following the technical assessment commissioned by JKF, sites for consideration were proposed by the development committee of the village under the patronage of head priest of the village temple Ven Meegoda Athulasiri Thero, in consultation with the technical manager of the solar power supplier, whilst the Divisional Secretary coordinated Government approvals for the installation of street lamps.

The JKG hotel, Cinnamon Lodge, Habarana, provided ground support to the Foundation in planning and implementing this initiative.

The initiative was launched by Head of CSR Nadija Tambiah and Manager CSR 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. Meegoda Athulasiri Thero, beneficiary families of the project and representatives from the JK Group. Speaking on the occasion, Rev. Meegoda Athulasiri Thero lauded JKF for the wide range of development work carried out in Halmillawe amidst many obstacles and challenges. Recalling the time when the supply of electricity 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 their school going children.

Speaking on behalf of JKF, Carmeline Jayasuriya thanked the head monk for his support and guidance in regard to development activities in Halmillawe and for coordinating the solar power initiative in the village. Outlining the advantages of using solar power, especially in the context of environmental impact and self-reliance, she requested the villagers for their support in maintaining the systems.

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