A BRIGHT future for 18,000 people on the island of Char Mantaz — one of many off the coast of Bangladesh. The main income for residents is fishing, but now they have added solar power to their skills.
Prokaushali Sangsand Limited (PSL), an engineering consulting group went to the island of Char Mantaz to train the female residents how to build and set up solar power panels for the whole island. The effects have changed this off-grid island forever. The traditional role of men earning an income as fishermen has been supplemented by new skills the women have gained — making everyone’s future brighter.
Due to the remote placement of Char Mantaz, electrical power lines were not an option to provide the residents with electricity. Solar power was the ideal solution under these long lived circumstances. They have been off-grid and still remain off-grid, but now with solar power energy. The electricity made it possible to have their homes lit up and computers turned on.
The whole island runs on solar-power panels built by the female residents.
The drastic change to the cultural norms and traditions was embraced once the benefits were noticeable by all. Embracing change, whilst not losing identity – something we could all work on.
Perhaps there are more firms out there such as PSL which can do more in training and skills. For the time being, the island of Char Mantaz is what many would consider an‘off-grid utopia’, a model for communities and individuals trying to make a positive switch to off the grid living. Perhaps future generations of Char Mantaz will be pioneers of solar power building and training.
You can watch a video clip of this project by clicking on the link below originally on current.tv: http://current.com/items/77213562/solar_success.htm
For more about the program that PSL worked under visit: http://www.reeep.org/485.3187/prokaushali-sangsad-limited-psl.htm
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