Alternative Energy Lights the Way in Majesty Gardens

Apr 14, 2016

Young residents of Majesty Gardens show off their training certificates at the handing over ceremony for the 'Transforming Lives Through Renewable Energy Initiative and Youth Empowerment in Majesty Gardens" project. Photo Credit: UNDP Jamaica

Residents of Majesty Gardens in Kingston applauded as a group of young people from the community put on a humorous dramatic piece about the need for energy conservation and the benefits of becoming legally registered with the electricity supply company at a special community function on 13 April 2016.

While the messages were entertaining, they reflected the reality for residents of the inner city community who have seen the installation of an alternative energy system in their community, and who have benefited from training and sensitisation about energy efficiency, under a Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP)-supported project in their community.

The young people were providing entertainment and education at the handover ceremony for the project that has provided the community with a solar energy system for the St Andrew Settlement community complex, which houses a clinic, basic school, training facilities and community centre for Majesty Gardens.

The project was implemented by a non-governmental organisation, the Environmental Health Foundation (EHF), and delivered a number of benefits for the community of Majesty Gardens and the St Andrew Settlement Complex, which is the community complex run by the St Andrew Parish Church.

Leader of the Opposition and Member of Parliament for the area, Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, expressed her pleasure at the achievements of the project which ran for two years and which, she said, was a symbol of “extraordinary partnership.” “

This was a most useful and visionary project. It has helped keep energy costs down, which is very important…The programme has also helped to provide some young people with important skills in renewable energy,” the Opposition Leader said.

UNDP Resident Representative, Bruno Pouezat, also hailed the project for its achievements and its focus on both climate change adaptation and mitigation.

“The Majesty Gardens/EHF project is different because it focuses on an urban community and has a strong mitigation component. The project is not just about adapting to the impacts of climate change. It tackles climate change at the source – It aims at reducing the greenhouse gas emissions which drive climate change and supporting young people’s livelihoods. It demonstrates a clear understanding of climate change impacts in an urban setting and of appropriate and sustainable responses by the community,” Mr Pouezat stated.

The project has delivered a number of benefits to the community:

A solar energy system has been installed at the St Andrew Settlement and has already helped reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Six young men and women from the community have been trained in Basic Solar Photovoltaic Installation

Eighteen residents have been trained in assembling LED lights used in tubes and bulbs

A working group of seven Energy Wardens and six data gathering personnel – all drawn from the community- has been actively sensitizing residents about energy efficiency and conservation.

In giving the vote of thanks, a young community member recognised the hard work and dedication of the community members and gave a commitment to maintain the facilities provided by the project.

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