Rural lighting projects implemented in villages in Myeik district

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The Department of Rural Development of the Ministry of Cooperatives and Rural Development is carrying out rural lighting projects in areas without access to the main power line in the next 10 to 15 years by using Mini-Grid and the Solar Home System (SHS).
Villages in four townships in Myeik District, Taninthayi Region, are being provided electricity with the use of Mini-Grid and the Solar Home System (SHS) in each financial year, according to U Aung Kyaw Oo, Deputy Director of the Myeik District Rural Development Department.
Of 25 villages in Myeik District, the rural lighting projects have been completed in 20 villages between the 2016-2017FY and the 2020-2021FY, and project officials are paying close supervision to complete the project for the rest of the villages by the end of November 2021, according to U Aung Kyaw Oo.
He said the completion of the lighting projects in these 25 villages will provide 8,737 households, 28 schools, 19 health facilities, 40 religious buildings with 24-hour access to electricity, as well as a total of 1,533 street lights will be provided free of charge. As it will also help more than 300 small and medium-sized enterprises to be developed, the socio-economic life of the rural people would be improved, the Deputy Director said.
The Mini-Grid is powered by solar energy, a renewable energy source, and a diesel generator is used as a backup generator only when solar power is scared. He added that the Khandee Island Small Power Company in Palaw Township had received the Green Energy Award presented by ASEAN in 2019.
“There are four villages in the Khandee Island. All villages have access to electricity with solar power. In the past, we had electricity only part-time with battery and engine lights, now we have 24-hour electricity with solar power,” said U Win Thu, member of the Khandee Island Lighting Committee.
“As we have 24-hour electricity, standards of living have risen, in addition to the education, health and social conditions. Also, workshops, warehouses, furniture shops, TV repair shops, beauty salons, and bakeries can run business, providing employment and increasing family income,” he added.
Similarly, lighting projects with solar power in a total of 251 villages in the four townships of Myeik District were completed from the 2016-2017FY to the 2019-2020FY, providing electricity to 15,570 households, 288 religious buildings, 195 education buildings, 47 health facilities, and 1,393 street lights. It is reported that the Rural Lighting Project installed lights in education, religious, health facilities and lamp posts free of charge.
The Department of Rural Development of Myeik District is examining the feasibility of implementing a mini-grid in 302 villages in the district as per the project specifications in the next financial year, the implementation will continue depending on the budget for the financial year and the participation of investors, according to Deputy Director U Aung Kyaw Oo. — Myint Oo (Myeik)/ GNLM

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