Solar Power to Villages in Karen State, Myanmar

by BHN Association
Vetted
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)
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
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
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
Installation of Antenna(1)
Installation of Antenna(1)

MYanmar is blessed with natural energy resources like gas, oil and water, yet only 30%of its people has the benefit of electricity supply.  Especially, in the areas of battle fields of armed crashes that lasted over 60 years, almost all kinds of infrastructures are definitely insufficient.

BHN has been supplying solar gnerated electricity for many public facilities in Kayin (Karen) state and, where requested and radio wave is available,also installed radio telephone sets powered by the solar systems.

In the 7 small and remotely located villages that have no access to doctors(nor access to the national grid services) located in the traveling area of Shan Ywar Thit Hospital, BHN installed special radio telephone sets.  Radio telephone wave was very feeble in those villages and we built large antennas on tall polls , thus enabling villagers to contact with the hospital at any time whenever help from the doctors were necessary.

However, many of the villagers have still no or minimal access to currency economy and it is difficult for many of them to pay the phone charges sustainably.  In such moment, XMobile co., a virtual mobile service provider, offered us to donate some part of its sales to help those people in need of access to telephone services.

With the funds donated from XMobile BHN purchased pre-paid telephone cards and presented them to each of the fillages and schools where BHN installed telephone systems.

Installation of Antenna(2)
Installation of Antenna(2)
Telephone Card Donation to hospital
Telephone Card Donation to hospital
Donation of Telephone cards to villager
Donation of Telephone cards to villager
 

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Organization Information

BHN Association

Location: Taito-ku, Tokyo - Japan
Website: http:/​/​www.bhn.or.jp
Project Leader:
Hirofumi Aizawa
Project Manager
Taito-ku, Tokyo Japan

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