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
Kwee Lay School Complex
Kwee Lay School Complex

In the middle of last May, as one part of the electrification project of the Kwee Lay High School located deep in the Karen National Union's (KNU) area, BHN completed the installation of computer systems with 12 PCs powered by the solar systems which was also provided by BHN.

Education Department of KNU was keenly wishing the elder level students to obtain computer literacy before starting their working career after finishing the high school.     It took more than 1 year after the inception of the idea of computer curriculum at the high school and the school hosted a big Opening Event to enjoy the start of the new systems.

Although the new school term is not started yet, the computer education course started as soon as the long -awaited system is completed.     4 school lessons are given during the day time for studends and, at night time, training course to teachers are also given for them to be able to prepare teaching materials.

The purchasing & installation works for the computer systems were all done by engineers of BHN as PCs are often stuck without machine trouble and need to call help (but nott the matters of guarantee by suppliers) and BHN plans to visit the high school from time to time to consult with school teachers for the better operation of the system.

Maintenance Training
Maintenance Training
Opening Event of Computer Systems
Opening Event of Computer Systems
Computer Lesson
Computer Lesson
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Explaining villagers on our project(1)
Explaining villagers on our project(1)

As we could get agreement with the EAG(Ethnic Armed Group=KNU) and the KSG(Kayin State Government) BHN started the works for the 2nd project of installing 6,138 solar systems in the 65 villages in the KNU areas from January this year.

 The locations of the villages are spread in wide and deep country areas and the access to most of the villages are very difficult to transport materials in rainy season.

Hence, the contractors are concentrating their work force to accelerate the installation works to finish all the works before the rainy season staring late May.

 As the number of the school students increasing we could feel the improvement of the life of villagers and we scaled up the system size for the computer study room.   They also built a new dormitory for the students to slay overnights and study after school hours.

 As recently as this February another EAGs signed the Ceasefire Agreement with the government of Myanmar and many dignities from inside & outside of the country attended to attest the signing ceremony.

It was also known that the people and leaders in these EAG villages were watching our activities next door to them and decided to make the ceasefire agreement knowing,after ceasefire agreement, that they will be also become beneficiaries of the projects such as we are doing in the KNU areas.

 We are now starting to discuss with EAG & KSG for the 3rd plan of our project.

 

 

Starting the installation work
Starting the installation work
School dormitory building
School dormitory building
Inside the dormitory studying under candle lights
Inside the dormitory studying under candle lights
Transporting materials in the paddy road
Transporting materials in the paddy road
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Meeting with EAG members
Meeting with EAG members

After a prolonged discussions a new project of installing solar power generation systems in the EAG areas started recently.

As KNU(Karen National Union) ,one of the EAGs, has been in ceasfire agreement with the Myanmar Government BHN has installed ,by last summer, as many as 1,570 solar systems into households located in the villages under KNU control.

Our follow-up research on the project with the villagers proved that our 1st project was warmly appreciated by the villagers and further proliferation of such project was expected.

The new project is planned by the request from KNU and to install 6,133 systems into the village houses, plus, one solar system and one computer training system for the high-school maintained by KNU.   KNU is strongly wishing that the graduating students could have good expertise to use computers and be able to start good working careers.

In our new (2nd) project we planned to employ 12 young villagers and train them to work with the contractors and do the installation works in the villages;thus, those young villagers will be able , returning to their villages, to support and maintain the solar systems they installed.  Thay will also have expertise to work in this business field.

Signing of contract with contractors
Signing of contract with contractors
Training of young villagers
Training of young villagers
Training of young villagers(2)
Training of young villagers(2)
Training of young villagers(3)
Training of young villagers(3)
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Installed systems(1)
Installed systems(1)

The electrification plan that started in Mar. last year successfully ended by the end of June.  During this period 1,570 home use systems were installed in the 15 villages in the Eastern Mon and Western Karen(Kayin) states of Myanmar.

As had been cited in the last report those areas occupied by the Ethnical Armed Groups(EAG) were left without any infrastructure.  Especially in the State of Kayin where the national grid system of electricity is penetrating in only 10% of households all the houses (but for some who could afford to equip solar systems for themselves) were spending nights with candle lights.

Now that they could get solar electricity (although minimal systems) ,they were very much rejoiced being able to have dinner under lights, take good care of children ill in bed, charge their cell phones (basically not for communications but for pleasure as the radio wave is not reaching), etc.  Children are now possible to study at home in night time too.  One of the largest advantage of obtaining solar light is that, all of the villagers responded, they are now free from spending precious cash to buy candles.

When BHN started this project our largest concern was that the villages in the EAG areas were not visited by any foreigner before and we could not anticipate how the villagers respond to our visits.  However, once we start visiting and explaining our intention from village to village, we were gradually accepted warmly and we could even stay overnights in the private houses.

Another concern for us was the difficulty of moving and working in the rainy season.  Basically transportation of materials and construction works for solar systems are possible only in dry season.  During the rainy season we conducted researches and monitoring works using boats and walking in the paddy trails.

As for our next project we are planning to start another solar systems installation works in the other areas in Kayin State.

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Trainers Award Ceremony(1)
Trainers Award Ceremony(1)

Further development of the project to “Educate the State Government Staffs” and the “Installation of Solar Electricity Systems (SES)in the Ethnical Armed Group(EAG) areas.

  • Training of Trainers:For the 12 state staffs qualified as “Trainers” of “Solar Advisers” BHN and the State Government of KayinKaren had jointly issued Certificates of their qualification.

 

  1. The “Trainers” are expected to train other staffs to become “Solar Advisers” to guide and educate villagers for the longer sustainability of solar systems that BHN and the State Government supplied.
  2. By the middle of May, 12 State Government staffs could pass the examination by BHN for higher level of knowledge on Solar Electricity Systems.

 

  • Electrification in the KNU(Karen National Union) villages:

 

The 1st stage of installing 1,570 SESs into the households of villagers living in the areas of KNU has been almost completed and BHN is now conducting “Monitoring” works to listen to the voices from villagers to evaluate our achievement.

As the rainy season already started in Myanmar we have , from time to time, difficulties moving from one village to another, however, we expect we could finish our monitoring works in all the villages by the end of this June.

As had been referred to in our last project report , almost all the areas under KNU are still left without electricity and the people living there are in dire need of safe and bright light.

BHN is now discussing to start another project to install as many as 6,000 SESs to another villagers in need of electricity for them to feel the “Value of Peace”.

The next project is expected to start soon and we are also planning to furnish computer systems to a high school operating in the same area.

 

Trainers Award Ceremony(2)
Trainers Award Ceremony(2)
Trainers' Award Ceremony
Trainers' Award Ceremony
Installtion Work in the Village
Installtion Work in the Village
Work Finished
Work Finished
Village House after Installtion
Village House after Installtion
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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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