Semi-literate Rural Women Solar Electrifying their own villages in Bhutan to demonstrate how solar energy could be used to enhance the quality of life for low-income communities living in remote villages with no likelihood of grid electricity.
Semi-literate Rural Women Solar Electrifying their own villages in Bhutan to demonstrate how solar energy could be used to enhance the quality of life for low-income communities living in remote villages with no likelihood of grid electricity.
The project is a pilot and innovative project. The solar-energy program will promote the empowerment of women by training illiterate and semi-literate women to become barefoot technicians who could install, operate, maintain and repair solar energy systems.

The focus of the project is only for lighting and not for cooking, washing, hot water for bathing. The 40 watt system proposed is adequate and the right system for the rural households. The kerosene oil used by the households range from 2 liters per month to as high as 30 liters per month wiht 3,4,5,6,10,15,20 liters in between.

To meet their basic lighting needs, for 1 liter of kerosene they spend between Nu. 25 to Nu. 50 per bottle. In some of the villages selected they have to walk for 3 to 6 days (Shama village of Ha district and Dorokha to get kerosene.

The Solar Survey has confirmed that decentralized individual solar home lighting systems are the most cost effective options to provide lighting to these remote villages. The possibility of getting power through other sources such as wind, micro-hydel and biomass has been ruled out in these villages.

Objectives:
1. to implement the 'Barefoot' approach of demystifying and decentralizing solar technology down to the rural communities;
2. To form Village Committees to implement the entire solar lighting project through women Barefoot Solar Engineers (BSEs) in their village;
3. to organize village meetings to collectively identify semi-literate women from the non-electrified villages and send them for 6 months training to India;
4. to train semi-literate rural women to fabricate, install, and maintain the solar lighting systems in their village;
5. to organize the community to sustain the project through collecting monthly users' contribution and
6. to put the fabrication, installation, repair and maintenance of solar technology in the management, supervision and control of rural communities.

Activities:
1. village survey and village meetings for preparation of community;
2. selection of rural women for Barefoot Solar Engineers' training (training of 20 more rural women);
3. Fabrication and installation of solar lighting units for 200 households in 20 villages of 8 Dzongkhags and
4. Establishment of 5 Rural Electronic Workshops (REW) for repair and maintenance of solar units.

A 3rd batch of women left for training in Tilona in Rajasthan in India for six months for Barefoot Solar Engineer Training. They are six in numbers from Wangdi, Chukha, Mongar and Dagana Dzongkhags.

PLEASE SEE PROJECT RESULTS
 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee:
Tarayana Foundation
Country:
Bhutan
Area Of Work:
Climate Change Mitigation
Grant Amount:
US$ 50,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 231,370.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
Project Number:
BHU/SGP/OP4/CORE/07/04
Status:
Satisfactorily Completed

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Project Characteristics and Results
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Indicators
Empowerment
Number of CBOs / NGOs participated / involved in SGP project 20
Livehood
Number of households who have benefited* from SGP project 200

Partnership

Tarayana Foundation (NGO), The Barefoot College, The Skoll Foundation and ALCAN

SGP Country office contact

Mr. Tenzin Wangchuk
Phone:
009752322424
Email:
Mr. Tshering Phuntsho
Phone:
009752322424 (ext:330)
Email:

Address

UN House, Peling Lam (Street), Kawajangsa, Thimphu, P.O. Box No. 162
Thimphu, Bhutan, 11001