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
Training to the to-be village technicians
Training to the to-be village technicians

The Phase 4 of solar power installation to the people living in the EAO (Ethnic Armed Organizations) areas started in Sep.,2019 and ended Nov.2020.

Initially, it was planned to install 7,326 solar systems into village houses, but, due to a successful bidding process we could increase the installation by another 1,729 systems (grand total of 8,605).

There happened many difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic also spread in Myanmar and forced us to extend our ending target by 3 months.

Just when we were going to start importing solar equipment from China, COVID-19 exploded in China and suspended the production of the equipment for more than a month.

The equipment were delivered to Myanmar in Mar. when the COVID-19 broke out also in Myanmar and prevented free movements of installation technicians in the countryside and held the works for another one month.

 

Now that the Phase 4 is completed, BHN has started the next project of Phase 5.

The targets of Phase 5 are;

1. Supply much needed solar electricity into 6,590 households in the EAO areas (4,572 in Kayin and 2,018 in Mon states).

2. To equip computer teaching systems into 9 higher grades schools in Kayin state.

 

The bidding procedures for Phase 5 are going on in both of the states, however, on Feb. 01, a Coup occurred in Myanmar and, at this very moment (Feb.10), it is unforeseeable what sort of influence should we suffer from this Coup.

The hope is that we have good cooperative relations with the concerned parties;Union Government led by NLD party, Armed Forces & EAOsand every party is positively thinking to proceed our project.

 

 

For the time being, we are holding further works to avoid un-necessary trouble.

We have to watch and always be ready to start the work at any time once our works for the poor people are permitted by all the parties concerned.

Training to the to-be village technicians
Training to the to-be village technicians
Education to the villagers
Education to the villagers
Check point at village entrance
Check point at village entrance
Monitoring activity in Mon state
Monitoring activity in Mon state
Monitoring visit in Mon state
Monitoring visit in Mon state
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Visiting Village by Boat
Visiting Village by Boat

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020, our project was forced to postpone the construction works for 2 months due both to the delay of equipment production in China and the lockdowns of the villages.

 

After the 2 months of delay, we could accelerate our installation works and completed the initially planned 7,326 installations of solar systems.    As we could reduce the construction cost through competitive bidding, we could increase another 1,277 systems and the installation works for the additional systems were completed by the early September.

 

It was lucky that BHN could finish the installation works by then as a higher nation-wide 2nd wave of COVID-19 infection broke out in Myanmar also in September.  We were already starting the post-installation monitoring works since early September, however, the visits to the villages were again prohibited by this 2nd outbreak.

 

Under such limitation, BHN started to conduct the monitoring works via telephone conversation.  Although the cell-phone service areas are limited in the EAO (Ethnic Armed Organizations) areas and many of the villagers are very shy to speak with unknown people, our telephone monitoring is making good progress obtaining help from the village leaders.

 

The current project is ending soon and BHN is now negotiating with EAOs on the next phase (Phase 5) project.  The expected budget for Phase 5 is limited and their wish list is now enormous; as many as over 20,000 solar systems were requested which is nearly equal to the total of our 4 years’ achievement of about 22,000 systems we have installed.   Among others, EAOs are placing priority on the education of their Future Generations.  Hence BHN is planning to furnish computer education systems into many of the EAO’s schools as requested.

 

 

Visiting Village on Foot
Visiting Village on Foot
Monitoring Visit(Htee War Kalae Village)
Monitoring Visit(Htee War Kalae Village)
Monitoring Visit(Mae Thae Village)
Monitoring Visit(Mae Thae Village)
Monitoring Visit(Pa Nann Pon Village)
Monitoring Visit(Pa Nann Pon Village)
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Explanaton to villagers(before)
Explanaton to villagers(before)

Like everywhere else in the world, our working schedule suffered seriously from the pandemic of COVOD-19.

 Initially we were expecting the 2nd shipment of the solar equipment from China after the Chinese New Year holidays in January, however, due to the COVOD-19 break out in China, the production could start only 2 months later.

 In the meantime, blockade of village entrances started every place in Myanmar and prevented the entrance of our construction teams since early March.   Only in early May we could re-start our solar power installation works after obtaining authorizations from the State Government and EAOs.

 As stringent special measures by the Government still continue, all the BHN staffs as well as the construction team members are observing strictly the “Operation Manual” of BHN* not to invite any concerns from the villagers.

*Ex. Wearing masks, washing hands well, daily checking of body temperature, etc.

 In our initial plan, we were expecting to finish the installation works of 8,605 home use solar systems by the end of May and the following monitoring works to be completed by the end of August.

However, the delay of 2 months is occurred to restart the works and, on top of that, the rainy season which makes our access to villages difficult, has begun already and we are concerned that the completion of the current project may delay till the end of September.

After COVID-19
After COVID-19
Quick fix of trouble
Quick fix of trouble
Explanation how to use in the public place
Explanation how to use in the public place
Rainy season started
Rainy season started
Preparing against slipping road
Preparing against slipping road
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Soon after the selection of contractors to install solar systems engineers of BHN visited factories in China at the end of Dec. to inspect & improve the production procedures.  As many cases of defects were found with the batteries in Phase 3 we selected another reliable producer of batteries for Phase 4.

 

While waiting for the production & delivery of equipment all our staffs visited the villages where we installed in Phase 3 and made follow-up monitoring activities to hear opinions from the villagers. 

Some of the responses from the villagers;

Became unnecessary to buy candles and kerosene any more and could improve the living cost.

Became easier to hold village meetings at night time.

Became easier to take care of patients in bed at night time.

Safer against dangerous animals & snakes at night.        Etc.

 

Along with the monitoring activities we conducted the training of the newly employed System Supporters who were recommended from the villages of work and they will join in the installation work with the contractors.

 

Also, by this monitoring activities we found many of the villagers were still omitted from the installation list due to the new flow of returnees ,we decided to increase the total installation number of Phase 4 by another 1,279 making the total number to 8,042 households.

 

As recently as the early Feb. the outbreak of Coronavirus in China is preventing the production for the 2nd shipment of equipment to Myanmar.  This is the biggest concern with us as the installation work must be finished by the middle of May before the rainy season starts and prevent our works.

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(1)Group monitoring
(1)Group monitoring

The 3rd Phase of installing solar power systems to 6,115 households in the EAO (Ethnic Armed Organizations) villages in the state of Kayin had been successfully completed by the end of Aug. 2019.

 Soon after the start of Sep. BHN issued calls for bids for the 4th Phase installation works of 5,013 systems in Kayin State and 2,313 systems in Mon State.  In this 4th Phase EAO villages belonging to Mon State are included as the solar systems were requested from NMSP(New Mon State Party) after they made ceasefire agreement with the central government in 2018.

 In the state of Kayin the bids were closed in early Oct. and, after BHN’s thorough technical inspections, opened in the presence of EAOs, bidders and State Government officials and 3 bidders were awarded the contracts.

However, in the state of Mon, just during the course of preparation for the selection meeting, there happened minor conflicts and the opening of the bids was postponed until early Nov.  (Later also successfully completed as the conflicts were settled.)

 In the villages we are working there are still many landmines buried and unidentified.  Also the access to the villages, especially in the rainy season, is very hazardous crossing rapid waters.

To prepare against unexpected hazards, taking advantage of vacant days in between the project works, all our staffs received 3 days First Aid training by the instructors of “Red Cross” of Myanmar.   We are hoping that this training could reduce much of our moving risks.

 Now, as all the preparation is completed, BHN staffs are visiting villages both in Kayin & Mon States and explaining villagers about our plans and schedules.

Also, for construction & maintenance purposes BHN newly employed 10promising young villagers and they are learning the techniques to build and repair solar systems through the practical installation works.  They are expected to support villagers after the installation work is finished.

Monitoring interview
Monitoring interview
Monitoring inteview
Monitoring inteview
Red cross training
Red cross training
Red cross training
Red cross training
Explanation before the work in Mon
Explanation before the work in Mon
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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
 
96 donations
$12,870 to go
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