Preah Dak, one of 36 villages in Banteay Srei district, in Siem Reap province, has been chosen as the model for the “one village, one light bulb” project. The 518 houses in the village will be equipped with solar panels to generate power at no cost to the families who live there.
Banteay Srei district governor Khim Finan said thanks to its favourable location and to make the pilot project a success, the district administration decided that all 518 houses in the village would be equipped with solar panels.
He said the village is the largest in the district, while the campaign itself was being fully sponsored by donors, friends, development partners and some private companies. The pilot project, he said, would cost about $30,000.
“On Thursday morning, the district administration will announce it as the first village to benefit from the ‘one village, one light bulb’ project. A representative from each of the 518 families who live in Preah Dak village and donor representatives will join the ceremony to launch it.
“There are two main reasons for launching this project. First, it will contribute to maintaining its residents’ security and safety. The second is to ensure that by bringing them light, they will be safe even when travelling within the village,” he said.
Finan said after the district administration had successfully executed the pilot project, it would be implemented as a long-term campaign involving the 35 remaining villages or nearly 100,000 houses in the district.
“We want all 10,000 houses to be installed with all light bulbs that are switched on until dawn. We use solar panels to generate power cheaply, and because some residents’ houses have no electricity at all,” he said.
Stressing that the project was the first of its kind in the Kingdom, he said there was a lot that could be learnt through its execution.
“When we execute the project in the next village, we might change the model so that villagers can also contribute financially by making a small donation so that we can progress with the campaign,” Finan said.
Preah Dak village chief Loek Vun said the pilot project was a good way to electrify the village and raise the people’s living standards.
“While electricity connection has reached our village, there are those who lacked money and are unable to afford it due to the high price. So they are not connected to the electricity grid.
“Some others don’t have money even to install light bulbs in their houses. This project will certainly help these people and many others like them throughout the country in terms of safety and security,” he said.