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
ToT guiding solar advisers(candidate)
ToT guiding solar advisers(candidate)

 (The author regrets that the consecutive holidays in Japan caused delay to issue this activity report.)

 -Education to State Government Staffs and Installtion of Solar Electricity Systems(SES) in the Ethnical Armed Group(EAG) Area-

 In the past one year BHN has been conducting 2 programs in the State of Kayin(=Karen).

 Educational Training on Solar Electricity Systems(SES) to the State Employees:

 As had been reported in our past report, the coverage ratio of national grid in the State of Kayin is still remaining around 10% of population. Under such situation, the State government has been distributing SESs to individual households in the rural areas.

While BHN is going to end our 3 years project of installing SESs in the public premise , the sustainability of the SESs that we build, as well as the SESs that the government distributed, is a quite important issue and we are now at the last stage of ToT(Training of Trainers) project.

As many as 12~15 State employees are expected to pass the examination to get awarded the qualification of SES Trainers. The Trainers are expected to train other people for a long time to become “Solar Advisers” to guide and educate villagers.

 Electrification in the KNU(Karen National Union) villages:

 After the rainy season was over last Nov. BHN started installation works of 1,370 SESs in the houses of the 15 villages in the KNU area.

As almost all of the 1,370 systems initially planned were installed by the end of Feb., we are planning to install another 200 systems before the next rainy season starts.

Even after this 1st stage is finished, a large number of people are still left without electricity.

BHN is now coordinating with KNU, Myanmar Government & other organizations for the next project to install SESs for houses and public facilities in the KNU area.

The Nippon Foundation (TNF), another foundation working in the same area, is also building houses & local clinics . Both KNU and Myanmar Government are appreciating that the project by TNF & BHN is becoming a good example to feel the “Value of Peace” and shall encourage other EAGs to seriously consider to make further steps for peace agreement.

Solar Advisers(candidate) teaching villagers
Solar Advisers(candidate) teaching villagers
Moving to village guided by KNU officer
Moving to village guided by KNU officer
Class room in the KNU village
Class room in the KNU village
KNU village workshop for SESs
KNU village workshop for SESs
Coordination meeting with KNU,Government & others
Coordination meeting with KNU,Government & others
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Teaching villagers
Teaching villagers

In Myanmar access to national grid service is still limited to around 30% of total population and the electric service is frequently suspended by black-outs even in big cities.

In the State of Kayin(=Karen) ,electrification ratio is still under 10% ,one of the lowest figure in Myanmar.

To contribute to improve such situation, especially in the public facilities, BHN has been, since 2013, installing solar power systems to 8 high schools, 3 hospitals, 1 village water well and other public places.

Along with the installation works of solar systems, BHN has been continuously conducted educational workshops to villagers on system maintenance & sustainable managements of the systems.

The State Government of Kayin is also actively distributing solar systems to private houses in the rural areas, however, the knowledge of the State staff is still very much insufficient to teach & consult with the villagers on proper use of solar systems.  Such situation caused too many damages and troubles with the State installed solar systems too.

To improve the solar electric literacy of the State staffs BHN conducted, in 2014~2015, educational courses for State staffs for them to be able to guide villagers on proper use of solar systems, as well as to make the staffs able to repair simple troubles.

In 2016, BHN also started a new educational courses to train on 2 tiers of levels: (1) Solar System Adviser course  and,  (2)Trainers to Trainers course. 

Once the students pass the examination for tier (1), they will be awarded the title of “Solar Power System Adviser” from the State Government and BHN.

Students for Tier (2) course are basically chosen from the Solar Power System Advisers of the preceding year and they will be responsible to create further numbers of Solar Power Advisers so as the State Government will have a sustainable system of creating Solar Advisers in future,after BHN left the State,

Teaching villagers(2)
Teaching villagers(2)
Teaching villagers(3)
Teaching villagers(3)
Trainer(candidate) is preparing demonstration kit
Trainer(candidate) is preparing demonstration kit
Trainers are training Solar Advisers(candidates)
Trainers are training Solar Advisers(candidates)
Instruction to trainers(candidates)
Instruction to trainers(candidates)
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Moving by boat(1)
Moving by boat(1)

(The author regrets the consecutive national holidays in Japan caused delay to issue the activity report.)

Soon after the independence of Burma in 1948, the people of "Karen" was one of the 1st ethnical groups that revolted against the central Burmese government to achieve independence (then after, broader authonomy) in their areas.   More than 60 years of appalling civil battle continued and, at last, by the end of last year KNU(=Karen National Union) signed the ceasefire agreement with the Myanmar government along with the other 7 ethnical armed groups(=EAGs).

To encourage further steps toward permanent peace and wishing the people in the KNU areas feel the value of peace, BHN started a project to install solar electric systems into 1,370 households in the areeas of the state of Kayin(=Karen). 

Infrastructures of all kinds are definitely lacking in the EAG areas and Myanmar is now in the middle of rainy season, the access to the villages are possible only by boat and on food, hence, our engineers were making research visits to remote villages, one by one, on foot staying overnights in the houses of villagers.

Actual installation works are expecdted to start from the end of October(depending on the weather circumstances) and the procurement of materials and the preparation of standard work arrangements are now under way.

Moving by boat(2)
Moving by boat(2)
Village view
Village view
Explanation to villagers
Explanation to villagers
Explanation to villagers(2)
Explanation to villagers(2)
A house burnt in the battle
A house burnt in the battle
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main water reservor in the SID village
main water reservor in the SID village

Kaw Tar Ho(KTH) village is located in the Eastern area of the State of Kayin(=Karen) ,about 1 hour drive from the capital of the state, Hpa An with 175 households(about 700 vilagers).   KTH village suffered from armed clashes several times and many of the villagers are returnees from refugee camps or IDPs(Internally Displace Persons).

Mainly due to the lack of irrigation system the villagers can produce rice crops only once a year, whereas, in most areas in Myanmar, they usually produce twice a year. 

Their well is shallow and dry up in dry seasons and ,until some years ago, they used to get water supply from the deep well in the village of Shwe In Don(SID) located about 700m from the village, however , the cost for the fuel was too expensive for them to cover and they were getting water from nearby places on their shoulders day by day.

BHN was about to close the works for the fiscal year (which ends by Mar.), we decided to install solar powered pump for the well in the village of SID so as to be able to supply water without fuel cost for both villages.    The water pipe to connect to the village of KTH has been discarded for some time but the villagers volunteered to repair them.

 In early June the water pump started to supply water for the 2 villages.

water pipe repaired by villagers
water pipe repaired by villagers
water reservor in KTH village
water reservor in KTH village
water tap in KTH village
water tap in KTH village
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Government staff training
Government staff training

In the past 3 years BHN has, by the end of March, installed solar power generation systems in 3 hospitals, 8 high schools, 1 town hall and 7 villages without doctors in Kayin(=Karen) state in Myanmar.

The government of Kayin state has also installed solar power systems into many households in the state.   However, the government staffs responsible for remote areas do not have knowledge on solar electricity to advise villagers.

To comply with such situation, along with the request from the state government, BHN conducted trainings for the government staffs both in the class rooms and by field practices.    After the days of study and examinations BHN awarded "Solar Power System Adviser" title to 19 qualified government staffs.

In the graduation ceremony held last January more than 100 government directors & staffs clebrated the award recipients.    These staffs are now going around in the state countryside wearing the blue shirts with letters on the back read "Solar System Adviser"/ 

Practicing cable connection
Practicing cable connection
Wiring practice
Wiring practice
Wiring practice 2
Wiring practice 2
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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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