News 2011

Lao students now have a healthier lighting option for studies

On Nov 2 and 3, Sunlabob installed a Pico Solar Lantern Rental System at a secondary school in Bokeo province, Northern Laos.

In order to showcase their ‘work for light’ scheme to nearby villages, International NGO Plan International implemented a pilot system at the school with the help of Sunlabob and the financial support of the Australian Government Aid programme, AusAid. This system provides the school with 50 rechargeable lanterns that can be recharged at the photovoltaic charging station for a minimal charging fee of 1000 kip. The teachers are responsible for operating and maintaining the system, as well as collecting the charging fees, which are used to maintain the system.

There are 180 students at the secondary school, and since it is the only secondary school in the area, students from nearby villages stay in the dormitories while they are studying.

Prior to the implementation of the lanterns system, lighting was unavailable in the dormitories. Students had to go to the classrooms to study at night, and this required the use of a costly diesel generator to provide good quality light. On top of this, the students each pay approximately 15,000 kip/month to pay for lower quality light (such as kerosene lamps or small battery flashlights) in their dormitories. Now with the lanterns, the students have a safer and more affordable lighting system.

To ensure that the systems are well operated and carefully maintained, Sunlabob also provided training sessions, comprising an accounting component and technical component, for the teachers. The accounting training is crucial to ensure transparency and good financial management of the system. For the technical session, the teachers were taught how to charge the lanterns system and perform basic system maintenance.

“We are very pleased with the work of the Sunlabob team,” said Andy Hill, Program Development Manager of Plan International. “The team was very professional in both their technical duties and working with the villagers and students. We feel the project will have a very positive impact on the students living in the dorms.”

For more information about our solar lanterns system, please check the solar lantern presentation.