Different playing fields around the island will benefit from the initiative

Different playing fields around the island will benefit from the initiative

Playing fields in the communities of Thibaud, Vieille Case, Kalinago Territory, La Plaine, and Grand Bay will each receive lights powered by solar energy, as a result of a partnership between the Dominica Lotteries Commission (DNC), and Solaris Energy.

The agreement between the organizations was signed on Friday by Chief Innovative Officer of Solaris Energy Co., Ted Mungal, and Deputy Chairman of Dominica Lotteries Commission, Franklyn Fabien.

According to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Culture and Constituency Empowerment, Mandra Fagan, the project, valued at EC$ 749,592.71, is estimated to be completed within four months and is part of the government’s initiative to encourage the use of renewable energy.

“In March of 2015, the government invited the Solaris Energy Company to Dominica, to conduct an assessment of playing fields across the island. The main focus of the visit was to assess the present lighting fixtures on the playing fields, and to explore the possibility of installing solar-powered lights to illuminate these facilities. Surveys were conducted of twenty-four playing fields island-wide…” Fagan explained. “This project is in keeping with government’s policy to encourage the use of renewable energy. And, therefore, all five playing fields will be fully solar-powered. It is anticipated that this project will be completed within the next four months. Hopefully.”

The lights used will be solar-powered, high intensity, sports LED lights, which will be outfitted with battery storage, and solar panels, and will carry 200-watt lights, 250-watt solar panels, and 200 AH 12-volt batteries, fully attached to steel galvanize poles. All materials are said to have been graded for the elements of the Caribbean.

It was also said that locals will be employed in the installation of the lights.

Minister for Youth, Sports, Culture, and Constituency Empowerment, Justina Charles, thanked the DNC for their continued contribution to sports in Dominica.

“We must applaud the Dominica Lotteries Commission for the tremendous support that they’ve given to the government of Dominica in the development of sports facilities across the island,” she said. “And, not just facilities, but in many of our sports programs…they’ve continued to be very proactive in assisting in sports development.”

According to the Minister, the DNC has made significant contributions to sports in Dominica. She recalled a few of their recent donations, thanking them for their generosity.

“Last year, for the cricket match between West Indies and Australia, the Dominica Lotteries Commission made available $300,000 for the preparation of the stadium… On an annual basis, they spend in excess of $200,000 to ensure that our Dominican students can participate in the Windward Island School Games…” she noted. “I really want to, at this point, express our heartfelt thanks to the Dominica Lotteries Commission for the tremendous support that they’ve been giving to us, and we know they will continue.”

Charles called for the public to not only appreciate the government and stakeholders’ investment in sports, but to utilize the facilities accordingly.

“I want to say for us in Dominica that we must appreciate the investment that the government of Dominica and all stakeholders continue to make in the development of sports… I am hoping that with the erection of the lights that we will see greater participation in sports, that we will see greater utilization of the sports facility,” she concluded.

She asked that members of the aforementioned communities do not regard the lights as a “government thing,” but instead, take ownership of the fixtures, and treasure and preserve them.