Powering relief aid: solar plant for Ho Lu

The weather is unpredictable and very changeable, impacting on the lives of the inhabitants of Ho Lu, a small mountain village in North Vietnam. Far from civilisation at an altitude of 2,760 m, families live here in a village with 31 houses and a school … and no electric power.
We can’t image what that means for living and quality of life, because we get our power at the flick of switch. The joint initiative of ELEKTRICIANS WITHOUT BORDERS, DECEN and NATURE POWER produced a sunny concept: a solar plant for a stand-alone power supply would be just the thing – but how? The required capacity of the plant was soon established and the necessary material sourced and produced in a faraway town, Bao Lac. A weighty project, quite literally: electricity poles, 620 kg of cable, 44 solar modules weighing 23 kg apiece, 20 batteries weighing 74 kg apiece, metal parts, control cabinets and bags of cement for the foundation.
Margarete Müller-Bull Foundation was happy to help fund the project. Getting everything there however was the task of the Ho Lu villagers, because the only way was to carry it up the narrow and steep paths to the village. This was a very laborious job, in which even the children played “supporting roles”. Everyone also pulled together to build the plant. Rocks were ground down to sand for the cement, foundations erected, the plant installed and all houses connected via the electricity poles. Also the chest freezer for the school – a donation from the electricians – began to buzz as the plant was commissioned and the adults and children of Ho Lu celebrated their FESTIVAL OF THE FIRST LIGHT.

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