Solar Power to Villages in Karen State, Myanmar

by BHN Association
Solar Power to Villages in Karen State, Myanmar
Solar Power to Villages in Karen State, Myanmar
Solar Power to Villages in Karen State, Myanmar
Solar Power to Villages in Karen State, Myanmar
Solar Power to Villages in Karen State, Myanmar
Solar Power to Villages in Karen State, Myanmar
Solar Power to Villages in Karen State, Myanmar
Solar Power to Villages in Karen State, Myanmar
System explanations to villagers
System explanations to villagers

As our current project period is going to end soon, let me summarize our project targets.

  1. To install home use solar power systems of 4,572 in Kayin State and 2,018 in Mon State.
  2. To install 9 computer training systems into 9 schools in Kayin Sate.(Also powered by solar systems)
  3. To train System Supporters selected from the targeted villages and deploy them as “Electricians” in their villages.
  4. To follow-up and check the current situations of the solar systems installed in our past projects in 2016-2018 as well as the current one.

 

Under difficult situation with frequent skirmishes in the villages and local roads that prevent our trips to villages and works in the villages, our planned construction works were completed by early September.  Follow-up training to electricians(3) and monitoring works(4) are now underway.

 

 

 As mentioned above frequent skirmishes in the countryside between Junta and PDF(People Defense Force) forced us to extend our project period until the end of Oct.

 

 In future there may still have many difficulties in, for example, funds remittance ,imports of equipment and, of course battles between opposition groups, we are starting to negotiate with the EAOs(Ethnic Armed Organizations) to form our next phase project.

Our idea is that we have already installed substantial amount of solar systems in the village houses, we should rather concentrate our resources to improve Public Facilities like schools and clinics.

Computer teaching room
Computer teaching room
System maintenance training at school
System maintenance training at school
Monitoring at home
Monitoring at home
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Our staff in Mon& Karen(Kayin)
Our staff in Mon& Karen(Kayin)

As repeated in our past reports our activity in Myanmar is still suffering much from the outbreak of COVID 19 and the Coup of Feb. 2021.

On top of these difficulties lockdowns in Chinese cities made the production of solar equipment suspended for more than a month.  This delay further forced us to postpone the target date of our project completion from this May till next August.

 

Relocation of the projected sites from conflict prone areas to safer ones were almost fixed obtaining the understanding of EAOs(Ethnic Armed Organizations) and the installation work of solar systems to individual households is going on smoothly after some period of suspension.

We expect the installation work will be completed by the end of July.

In Mon state where conflicts are far fewer than in Kayin state, works are going on well after the delay by the lockdowns in Chinese cities.

 

Further, in the recent days, the Central Bank of Myanmar issued a decree that Foreign Currency remitted to the account opened in Myanmar should be converted at once into Myanmar Kyat by official exchange rate which is lower than the free market rate (by about 13% now).    This decree caused further confusion and difficulties in the commercial transactions.

 

As above reported, the situation in Myanmar is still in turmoil, however, the requests from the EAOs in destitute are very strong and we started the planning for the next phase.

Considering that the civil war between Junta and People Defense Force(PDF) group may be prolonged, we plan to concentrate to assist higher education & betterment of medical services in the EAO villages as schools and clinics are less susceptible to attacks by Junta forces.

Solar systems installed
Solar systems installed
Follow-up meeting
Follow-up meeting
Computer lesson at school
Computer lesson at school
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Installation work outside.
Installation work outside.

As referred to in our past reports, COVID-19 and the Coup of Feb.2021 seriously affected to the progress of our projectin Kayin(Karen) State.   Hence, finally, we have decided to postpone the targeted date of completion by 6 months until the end of May 2022.

 

In the recent months the conflicts between the Junta troops and many resisting groups(including many of the Ethnic Armed Organizations(EAOs) were ever becoming severe ,we had to relocate the projected villages to the safer ones as many of the EAO villages in KayinState are still remaining as safe havens.

 

However, some of the villages became in-accessible after the initial work and much of the equipment delivered were left stored in the warehouses.

 

Also, in Lay Kay Kaw(LKK) village which was newly built as a symbol of ceasefire agreement between the Myanmar Government and EAO ,artillery shells destroyed many of the village facilities and, later, the village was occupied by the army.  BHN built 2 computer education systems in LKK village but, as the access to the village is dangerous ,the present state of the education facilities are not confirmed. 

We still need to equip computer education systems into 7 other schools and the safety of the installation works are guaranteed by both the State Government and the EAO.  Final system designing for the computer systems are now going on.

 

Should there occur some more harsh collisions in the Karen EAO areas, we may have to consider another extension of our completion schedule.

Referring to Mon State, however, serious conflicts are not reported and our construction works are making good progress in Mon State.

Installation work in the house
Installation work in the house
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Solar panel installed
Solar panel installed

The Coup d’e-tat of Feb. 01 in Myanmar is still casting shadow on the progress of our project.

On Sep. 7, NUG (National Unity Government, a coalition government consisting of all parties against military governance) declared the launch of a defensive war against the military junta which triggered many armed uprises nationwide; attacks on the military facilities, bombing on telecommunication towers owned by military cliques, skirmishes, etc.

Along with such turmoil COVID-19 was still rampant everywhere in Myanmar; hence, the junta declared “Stay Home Holidays” for extended weeks till the end of Sep. Thus, the progress of our project was forced to postpone for more months.

With the start of Oct., however, the “Stay Home” order was lifted and the safety of many of the targeted villages were confirmed by both EAOs and the State Governments, we are gradually starting our installation works paying highest attention to the safety of our employees and the installation workers.

Considering such delays and the possible unpredictable issues to hamper the progress of works, we are planning to postpone the termination of our project by 6 months till the end of next May.

As well, we may have to consider the reduction of total project targets as some of the EAO villages are still not accessible to visit for works.
Further , we will have many obstacles before us to overcome like steep inflation, or, deep devaluation of Myanmar currency,etc.

Computerclass
Computerclass
On the way to villages
On the way to villages
Working in the office with care
Working in the office with care
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Muddy road to villages
Muddy road to villages

As mentioned in our last report, the Coup of Feb.01 caused suspension of the progress of our project , although the project is conducted as purely Humanitarian Aid to the people in the EAO(Ethnic Armed Organization) villages.

 

In April, after about 2 months later, we received call from the EAO in Mon State (New Mon State Party=NMSP) saying;

(1) The visit to the targeted villages by BHN staffs are safe now.

(2) Hence, they wish the installation of solar electric systems to their villagers as early as possible.

 

Afterwards, hurriedly, we held the Selection Meeting (selection of successful bidders) in Mon State and awarded to 2 companies to install 2,038 sets of solar systems in total.

 

Soon after this selection of companies, staffs of BHN , together with the members of installation contractors made Explanation Visits to villages in NMSP area..  The visits to villages were conducted quite safely, passing the Check-points of both the Junta & EAO without any trouble.

 

In parallel to the movement in Mon State , we also received a call from KNU(Karen National Union) Headquarters asking us to re-start the preparation of the Computer Training Systems into schools in their village.

 

As BHN has already promised to install such computer systems into 9 higher grade schools in KNU villages, we soon conducted hearings with another Brigades and got affirmative responses except from one which is adjacent with a Brigade waging frequent battles with the Junta forces.

 

Hence, we are going to sign contracts with the other facility companies to build solar electric systems to operate computers.

.

As COVID-19 is still rampant and skirmishes happen in many places in Myanmar, we also conducted Safety Operation drills with our employees to keep their safety in Kayin & Mon States.

Explanation visit(1)
Explanation visit(1)
Explanation visit (2)
Explanation visit (2)
To be computer training room
To be computer training room
Long cue to draw down cash
Long cue to draw down cash
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Organization Information

BHN Association

Location: Taito-ku, Tokyo - Japan
Website:
Project Leader:
Hirofumi Aizawa
Project Manager
Taito-ku, Tokyo Japan
$2,130 raised of $15,000 goal
 
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