COP 22- Bangladesh- Energy: Women are game-changers in promoting access to clean energy
Oct23

COP 22- Bangladesh- Energy: Women are game-changers in promoting access to clean energy

  COP 22- Bangladesh- Energy: Women are game-changers in promoting access to clean energy   A group of Tanzanians visited Bangladesh a few weeks  ago to learn about renewable energy initiatives in this country with the aim  to help Tanzania  “achieving 100 percent use of renewable energy”. The Tanzania delegation comprised representatives from the Parliament, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral resources, the civil society and the media.   Report by Deodatus Mfugale Dhaka, Bangladesh Rural women training Modhukhali village in Bangladesh-  Here is Shahana Begama in a classroom, speaking to 20 women. The women are listening deeply. On a table, one can see various components: a solar system, a bulb, a solar panel, a control panel, battery…These tools are used by Mrs Begama during a training. Today, she explains how to use the  Solar Home System ( SHS), a cheap and a simple solar equipment. It provides electricity to poor family. The aim of the training is to assure families that they can have access to energy easily  . The training programme helps also families to used  solar systems. It creates a positive social force in the village as it promotes renewable energies technologies. “By implementing this programme, those women who come from poor, disadvantaged families will be able to contribute to the family income, especially  improving the education and health  of their  their children,” explained Dipal Chandra Barua, Chairman and Founder of GGEF. Over 400 women in rural Bangladesh have been trained in servicing solar systems installed in their homes since 2010. This is thanks to the Bright Green Energy Foundation (BGEF) which strives to provide access to clean energy to poor families in the rural areas. By December last year (2015), four million solar homes systems had been installed while almost 50,000 SHS are being installed in rural homes every month. Women Empowerment Besides repairing and maintaining their own Solar Home System, the women also provide maintenance services to other community members and train other rural women to become “green technicians, according to Mr Barua. “Some women technicians assemble and repair solar accessories: they can earn more than Tk6000 (approximately USD 76) per month. This is not a very big amount of money but it helps rural families to meet their needs,” he said. “We have taken the assembling and repairing of solar accessories to the rural areas at the users’ doorstep and created ‘green’ jobs for rural women while promoting women entrepreneurs of the future,” he added. Strategy Building capacity and helping people having access to energy is really needed and helpful said  trainees. “My children can now study and do their homework at home...

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COP 22- Bangladesh: Beyond grid connectivity
Sep28

COP 22- Bangladesh: Beyond grid connectivity

  COP 22- Bangladesh: Beyond grid connectivity   A  delegation of Tanzanians  came to visit Bangladesh recently.  Basically, it was for  learning  how to accelerate access to energy for poor people in the rural areas without having to link them to the national grid. By Deodatus Mfugale September 28 2016   Rural: access to energy     Two things are known to change quickly the lives of the rural population and lift them out of poverty. One of them is the provision of electricity. When poor families are provided with electricity the quality of life improves for the entire family as well as for individual members of the family.   Some research in Bangladesh, for example, has shown that the children’s average study time had increased by about six percent and their absence from school due to sickness reduced by 20 percent with access to electricity . Small retail businesses run by poor families had also shown to rise by eight percent due to provision of electricity.   The challenge however, is to provide electricity to many people within a short time so as to scale up poverty reduction at family level. Many developing countries tend to take the path of connecting rural families to the national grid, with the result that only a few people are connected after a long time and usually at a high cost.   However some countries have shown that small off-grid systems are the answer when the goal is to supply many poor families with electricity within a short time.   “Some people think that supplying many rural families with electricity from a 100 percent renewable source is abstract,” explained  recently Mr. Dipal Barua Founder and Chairman of Bright Green Energy Foundation (BGEF) of Bangladesh.   “Yet this is feasible if  we aim at small and simple solar systems that can supply individual families enough power to light their homes and provide other simple services like charging mobile phones,” he added.   Between 2010 and 2014, 3.5 million households had for the first time been installed with simple solar systems which benefited about 15 million people. Since then about 50,000 families install new solar systems of between 10Watts and 135Watts every month.  The target is to provide electricity from simple solar systems to six million households by end of next year.     Linking to Tanzania   For people in the rural areas having electricity from non-grid sources is a leap that takes them to new levels of development. Otherwise they would have to wait for decades to be connected to power supply from the national grid.     More importantly, such a...

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