By NAW DWAY EH KHU / KANTARAWADDY TIMES
The government of Kayah (Karenni) State will try to meet the electricity needs of remote communities by giving them solar panels instead of connecting them to the power grid, according to the state’s chief minister.
Speaking at a ceremony to distribute solar panels to schools,heldon Mondayat the Education Department’sPyannyaBeikmangHall in the capital Loikaw, Chief Minister El PhoungShosaid that the state’s goal is to provide everyone with electricity generated by the state’s Lawpita hydropower plant, but that is not feasible at this time.
“Actually, we want to give electricity from theLawpita hydropower plant to everyone, but we can’t. Morethan 82 percent of the state now has electricity, and we will try to reach the remaining areas,” he said.
“Many villages arenew and not yet registered with the land department. We are trying to get electricity to those villages, but according to our planning and financial policy, we can’t provide electricity tovillages that have a small number of households,” he added.
So far, the state government has given each school in remote areas of Kayah State a 100-watt LTATA1 solar panel, one inverter, one lamp, and three bulbs.
Local people say that the panels will help, but they still hope to get access to the power grid.
“There is no electricity in this area, but now we have solar panels. This can solve some problems, but if we can get electricity from the national electricity grid, it will be much better,” schoolteacher Shar Moe told Kantarawaddy Times.
“In our school, we need to use electricity for some lessons and for office work, such as making copies and using computers. If we don’t have electricity, we have to go to town to make copies or print things, which costs us money for travel,” she added.
A total of 35 schools have received solar panels, including six schools in Loikaw Township, four in DemosoTownship, eight in HprusoTownship, two in ShardawTownship, four in BawlakheTownship, seven in HpasoungTownship and four in MaesaeTownship.