December 19, 2012

Lighting Up Homes and Empowering Lives in Laos

A short video showing how electricity expansion under the Rural Electrification Program, throughout Laos is helping to change and empower lives.  Also shows how off-the-grid electricity is used in the more remote rural villages to ensure their inclusion as well.

The Rural Electrification Program receives financial support from the World Bank, AusAid, and Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.  This video was created in 2010 for the World Bank.

Discussion:  One minor item that's worth questioning though is mentioned at 02:40 in the video where the narrator mentions that there's an installation cost of $100 to set up the electricity to a home.  And for those who can't afford it, then there's an interest free loan that's offered.  We would argue that ideally, installation of electricity should be free.  However the on-going use of it is where the user should be charged for it.  An initial $100 could be considered a lot for some especially those in poor villages.  Unfortunately, a loan, whether it's interest-free or not, is still indebting an already poor village person/family.  That's just our humble opinion.  However this project clearly has had positive results and should be commended - the progress made is still very noteworthy!

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