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© Hkun Lat WWF-Myanmar
PROJECT: Barefoot

The Barefoot Project

Solar powered solutions for rural Myanmar

About the project

As part of our Climate and Energy Programme we are working in close partnership with the Barefoot College in India to provide home solar power units to families living in some of Myanmar’s rural communities. With electrification rates so low across the country and grid electricity both expensive and difficult to install, solar electrification is an opportunity to aid communities’ quality of life, long-term development and self sufficiency. This solar solution will also protect the environment surrounding villages from both the harmful impacts of diesel-fuelled generators and the demand for coal. As well as increasing energy access the Barefoot project focuses on empowering women by training female volunteers to be able to install and maintain solar power units.

GOALS

<b>"Decentralised distributed solar power is promoted."</b>
Renewable energy technologies such as solar power are an ideal solution for off-grid communities living in rural areas. With access to centralised electricity unravelling far more slowly in rural areas, renewable energy technologies have the potential to end energy poverty, promote local income generation and put greater control into the hand of those living off-grid.
<b>"Women living across rural Myanmar are empowered."</b>
The Barefoot College focuses on empowering women who are often illiterate or semi illiterate. After 6-months training at the college in India, the women return to a workshop built by their community using pooled funds that would have been spent on running diesel powered generators. The funds are also used to pay a salary to the women who are now invaluable to the community as the only individuals who can install, repair and maintain the home solar power units.
"CSO partnerships need to be promoted."
Civil Society Organizations play a vital role in enabling people to claim their rights and promote rights-based approaches. They contribute to shaping development policies that affect their communities and to forming partnerships and overseeing the implementation of policies. Strong CSO partnerships are critical if Myanmar is to undergo equitable and fair development for all those living in the country.

Milestones

September 2017
5 women trained
December 2017
235 houses electrified
September 2018
15 women trained
November 2018
1000 houses electrified

RESOURCES