Introduction of solar power by non-government organizations (NGOs) has changed the lives of rural people in remote char areas of Patuakhali district. Over 5,000 families in places such as Kalapara, Rangabali, Golachipa, Bauphal, Mirzagonj and Dashmina upazilas of Patuakhali district are using solar power—both for domestic and commercial purposes.
Grameen Shakti, Upokul and other NGOs are supplying solar panels to villagers in the district.
Grameen Shakti has been providing solar power for the past three years, said one of its officials.
“We are providing instalment facilities so that poor people in remote areas can afford solar power,” he added.
Limon Peyada, a business-stall owner of Barobaisdia village, said: “I have already set up a solar panel from Upokul at a cost of Tk. 27,000. After installing the panel on the roof of my shop, I’m using its power to light four bulbs and run one fan.”
Besides making life relatively easy, solar power is also helping the char people access information from home and abroad. The trend of using solar power is on the rise in the char areas, said Sabikun Nahar Lana, an inhabitant of Felabunia village in Rangabali area.
She urged the government to provide subsidy on solar panels to make them more affordable for poor people.