Haiti – Cité Soleil, illuminated by solar power

A program aiming the installation of solar energy with photovoltaic street lights, project "Light and Safety", envisages the installation by the end of the year, of 208 solar street lights in 26 blocks of houses, 8 per block in the town of Cité Soleil.

On August 24, the installation of the first 24 streetlights was marked by a ceremony to "Nan Boule", an area of ​​Soleil 17, attended by many residents of this neighborhood. Progressively installed, the solar street lights, are resistant to vandalism and theft and are produced by solar technicians that come directly from the community formed by ENERSA, a Haitian company which innovates in the field of solar power "To date we have trained 19 people in Cité Soleil to produce and install panels", said the engineer Jean Ronel Noël, of ENERSA.

The project "Light and Security" meets the needs of the inhabitants who hope more leisure or other activities in public places. It is a good example of cooperation of coexistence between the Brazilian infantry battalion (BRABAT1), responsible for the security of this commune, the Section Community Violence Reduction (CVR) of the Minustah, the Brazilian Embassy in Haiti and ENERSA.

These streetlights are gradually changing the nocturnal habits of the residents of Cité Soleil. In the past, from the sunset, the streets were emptied, people were locked up because of the darkness or they did not feel reassured when they left early to go to work. Now, the residents who benefit that benefit from this solar lighting, are back in the street, until then deserted due to insecurity. "This is a good initiative, we are no longer in the dark, we can walk quietly through the streets," said a resident of the neighborhood Soleil 17.

Commander BRABAT1 has described the project of "fruitful synergy between civilian and military." Recalling that between January and July 2011, BRABAT1 had implemented the project "Clean Block 1", funded to the tune of about 147.000 dollars. In addition to the installation of 32 solar street lights, 240 houses had been repainted as part of a program "Cash for Work" in which a resident of each house had helped to clean the streets for a month [neighborhoods Simon-Pélé, Project Drouillard, Boston and Brooklyn of Cité Soleil].