The government has been asked to supply permanent electricity to 13 villages of Nakai district, Khammuan Province, aiming to improve people’s living conditions and stimulate investment and sustainable development.
Their living conditions are currently difficult living without light, despite their location being near the Nam Theun 2 hydropower dam. Some people use torches and some use solar power, the Vice President of the Lao Front for National Construction, Mrs Khamchanh Phomsengsavanh who is also a NA member, told the NA’s ongoing second ordinary session last week.
The President of the Provincial People’s Council of Khammuan, Mr Somchay Phetsinouan said that Nakai district is located in a rural and remote area and near Nam Theun 2, which is a protected area in the watershed. The majority of people are farmers.
He said that the contract between the government and the Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project forbids the cutting of trees for the installation of electricity or the building of access roads to those villages.
In the recent years, a private company has installed solar cells in the 13 villages and charges 30,000 kip per month (about US$3.50). Some families were unable to afford the rate and stopped using the solar cells, Mr Somchay said.
Currently 65% of the families use solar power in the 13 villages, he said.
By 2020, 95 per cent of households in Laos will have access to electricity and the government plans to develop the country into the ‘Battery of ASEAN’ due to its location and its hydropower potential.
Most electricity in Laos is generated by hydropower, which contributes significantly to both local and remote development as well as to national revenue from the selling of electricity each year.
Source: Lao News Agency