Bangladesh Environment and Development Society (Bangladesh)
Under the Ecosystem Based Adaptation Initiatives,
Solar Lamps brightened the lives of Coastal Villagers.
To bring light to the Sundarbans coastal people of Bangladesh that are living in the dark.
The socio-economic condition in urban areas of Bangladesh is now better than ten years ago, but the far-flung rural areas are still struggling to obtain basic needs such as electricity. Villages are enveloped in darkness after sunset causing women to use kerosene lamps or cook food only in the daylight and students have to skip their study hours at night.
Bangladesh is one of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world and the Sundarbans coastal region is the frontline of global climate change. Most of the people of this area live below the poverty line. Their life and livelihood fully depend on the Sundarbans resources. They collect fishes, crabs, shrimp, honey, and golpata (Nypa frutican) in the mangrove forest.
The Sundarbans mangrove forest is the single largest mangrove forest in the world and a UNESCO declared Natural World Heritage site. It is also a RAMASAR Wetland site. Sundarbans mangrove flagship ecosystem is the natural safeguard for protecting from natural disaster and livelihood support of approx 3.2 million climate vulnerable coastal people. It is the home of various types of species including many rare and endangered flora and fauna. The area in Bangladesh Sundarbans is 6017 square kilometers covering approximately 4% of the total area of Bangladesh, and contains roughly 40% of the total forest of our country.
Promoting the clean energy in rural Sundarbans coastal area of Bangladesh: In a step forward to help the community, Bangladesh Environment and Development Society (BEDS) has been working to promote the clean energy at the non-electrified Sundarbans coastal area in Bangladesh with the help of Korea Green Foundation (KGF) and Sumar Lakhani Foundation (SLF). To light up villages at night, an initiative is underway to distribute different types of 2800 Solar Lamps and 504 solar home systems among Sundarbans coastal area families. These solar lights will decrease the need to purchase kerosene, which is associated with respiratory diseases and global warning.
Solar School Project: An 11.2 kw/hour solar stations have been installed in the Sundarbans region. This project has been providing electricity to the school and now they can run multi-media classes for the students. The project has also distributed solar lights to the students and they carry the lights to the school each day to re-charge. We also supported multimedia projector, computer and internet facilities so teachers and students have been enjoying their education. The project has brought a sweeping change in the performance and attendance of the students in the school. The project is being implemented for improving both education sector and economic upliftment of the area.
Community Empowerment Project Based on Solar Energy: An additional two 7.5 kw/hour and a 3.0 kw/hour solar battery charging stations have also been installed in the project area. The villagers are assessing multiple services from these three stations such as battery charging, rent battery, and solar lamp. The villagers are also able to conduct studio, internet, computer, and photocopy business using the stations.
School Education Program on Renewable Energy: We have been regularly conducting clean energy education program among students and communities by our developed education materials.
- One Union (i.e. more than 17 villages) now have light because of solar energy.
- Two schools & one Union Parishad building have been electrified by the produced electricity of solar stations & multimedia class has been introduced in the school.
- Renewable energy education programs are being conducted in 3 project sites among students and community people to let them know and inspire on renewable energy usage.
- Students and community people are getting solar lamps and battery facilities at a very cheap rate with nominal security money and a low cost rental fee.
- People can rent 30-130 ampere batteries as regular or irregular customer from the solar charging station.
- Regular customer will pay the rent monthly and irregular customer will pay daily. Regardless, the rental price of batteries is cheaper than the local market price.
- Solar lamp and batteries can also be charged at a lower rent cost in the solar charging station than the local market.
- Photography, photocopy, laminating and printing are available in “Community Digital Center” with very low costs.
- E-mail facility, online circular download, online job application, different internet facilities & data transfer in memory card are also available in “Community Digital Center” at a lower price than the local market.
- Bangladesh Environment and Development Society (BEDS) and Korea Green Foundation (KGF) have distributed 2800 solar lamps and 504 Solar Home Systems among Sundarbans poor coastal families in Khulna, Satkhira & Bagerhat and among tribal people in Naogaon in Bangladesh from 2013 to 2017.
- Three solar stations have been installed in our project sites from where about 3000 people are getting benefited directly and indirectly.
- In previous time 80% people were Kerosene dependent but now this percentage has been reduced at 10% and expenditure for light reduced 30-200 from 200-600.
- As a studio, photocopy shop, battery charging (Community Digital Center) has been established in the solar charging station, the community people need not to travel 7-8 kilometers to get studio & photocopy related services