In the rural northeast of Vietnam, the Vang Kheo hamlet, home to only 24 households of the Dao people, has undergone a transformative change. This secluded village is now illuminated with road lighting and equipped with solar power banks for all houses. The project holds immense importance for the villagers, as the hamlet, quite isolated from other villages and main streets, remains unconnected to the national electricity grid.
“We now move easily during the nighttime since the road has been lighted by solar energy. Especially, children are very happy to play together in the yard.” – Mr Dang Phuc Vinh (Vang Kheo hamlet, Ba Be District, Bac Kan Province).
The impact on the community is profound. Villagers have access to television and can charge their phones, strengthening connectivity. Solar energy has also brought about a positive shift in education, allowing children to study without the need for torches or oil lamps and enabling evening playtime in the yard.
“My children don’t need to wear forehead torch to do homework during the nighttime.” – Ms Trieu Thi Luyen (Vang Kheo hamlet, Ba Be District, Bac Kan Province)
This initiative highlights the crucial role of rural women in driving the transition towards clean and secure energy. While some households previously accessed electricity from a mini hydropower system on a small stream in the village, its susceptibility to damage and low capacity for lighting necessitated a more sustainable solution. Recognizing this reality in rural sectors, the Bac Kan Women’s Union conducted a survey of villages yet to be connected to the national grid, prioritizing Vang Kheo hamlet for the pilot implementation. With the support of Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA and the Terri Daktyl Memorial fund, this project is paving the way for a more sustainable future for rural communities and contributing to Vietnam’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.