Solar Power Offers Electricity To Rohingyas In B’desh Refugee Camps

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Dhaka: The camps in Bangladesh that are now home to nearly 600,000 newly arrived Rohingya have no running water and barely any toilets, but they do have power – thanks to a proliferation of solar panels.

That means refugees can charge their phones and power electric lights and fans, a lifeline in tents that become baking hot in the strong sun. Some of the refugees say the panels were among the few precious possessions they grabbed as they fled villages in Myanmar that have been burned to the ground in a campaign of retribution following militant attacks on police posts.

Others have used their meagre resources to buy them after arriving in Bangladesh, where they have had to set up home in the overcrowded refugee camps near the border.
At the entrance to the Balukhali camp, one of the ubiquitous blue panels powers Kabir Ahmed’s makeshift grocery store.

The 46-year-old, who worked in a shrimp farm in his native Myanmar, set up his small business when he arrived in Bangladesh at the start of August after fleeing a military crackdown in Myanmar that the United Nations has said amounts to ethnic cleansing. He gets enough power from the sun to run four light bulbs and two small fans.

camps in Bangladesh that are now home to nearly 600,000 newly arrived Rohingya have no running water and barely any toilets, but they do have power – thanks to a proliferation of solar panels. That means refugees can charge their phones and power electric lights and fans, a lifeline in tents that become baking hot in the strong sun.

Some of the refugees say the panels were among the few precious possessions they grabbed as they fled villages in Myanmar that have been burned to the ground in a campaign of retribution following militant attacks on police posts. Others have used their meagre resources to buy them after arriving in Bangladesh, where they have had to set up home in the overcrowded refugee camps near the border. At the entrance to the Balukhali camp, one of the ubiquitous blue panels powers Kabir Ahmed’s makeshift grocery store.

The 46-year-old, who worked in a shrimp farm in his native Myanmar, set up his small business when he arrived in Bangladesh at the start of August after fleeing a military crackdown in Myanmar that the United Nations has said amounts to ethnic cleansing.
He gets enough power from the sun to run four light bulbs and two small fans.

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