INDONESIA - SUMBA ISLAND hq
VIA is assisting a Dutch organization, Hivos, with their Iconic Island project, to help Sumba Island in eastern Indonesia to become 100% renewable by 2025. The island population is over 600,000, of which approximately 50% have no access to electricity, or 60,000 households. Of these, at least 50% are likely to be reacehed by grid extension from the main 10 MW diesel grid network, but the most remote 30,000 households (an offgrid market the same size as in Vanuatu) are likely to need isolated power system solutions such as minigrids and solar home systems. As in all our major projects, VIA first mapped the households in the focus area, starting with Central Sumba where 70% of 10,000 households are offgrid, and planned out a roadmap of what infrastructure may be required in which area, then started building the project. The focus is on solar lighting, phone charging and agro-processing mills, and a video showing the mills in action is shown below. The reactions speak for themselves - a 1 hour job of shelling corn and smashing it into four with rocks to make 1 kg every day to feed the family became a 5 minute job with the solar mills. The potential time saving of each mill over 5 years for a 100-household village is 100,000 hours, the equivalent of 10 full time jobs. This project is now scaling up to 2500 households with support from the Millennium Challenge Account - Indonesia and other investors.