Project Manager: Lo Sang Bal Dron (Madge)
This project is to buy 58 solar panels for 58 households in Budu Village to provide enough electricity to the 58 families in Budu Village, increasing the students’ study time at night and making it possible to watch TV during their spare time. It will also decrease the amount of money spent on candles, flashlight batteries and butter lamps.
Funds needed: $9,710.52 (61,118rmb)
Blo bZang dPal sGron is from Luhuo County, Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, China. She graduated from Qinghai Normal University. Now she is working as an officer in Ladao Township.
Contact Group: Shem Women’s Group
Mailing Address: Qinghai, Xining, Xining Shi You Zheng Ju, Xin Ning Lu You Ju, 20-5 Xin Xiang, 810008, P.R.C
Telephone: 0971- 6302115 (Shem office),
This project is located in Budu Village, in Zhuwo Township, Luhuo County; Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, China. Budu Village is about 45 km away from Luhuo County town (called Zhanggo in Tibetan); Luhuo County is located in the southeast of Ganzi Prefecture and Luhuo County is 650km away from Chengdu City, the capital of Sichuan province.
There are 431 people of 58 households in Budu Village consisting of 165 men, 158 women and 108 children (under the age of 18).
There are 104 students (49 males and 55 females) in Budu Village, including 16 college students (9 males and 7 females), 15 high school students (7 males and 8 females), 33 middle school students (12 males and 21 female), and 40 primary school students (22 males and 18 females). 23 people (18 males and 5 females) have official jobs and 50% of men and 3% of women are literate in Budu Village (not including students, monks, nuns and functionaries). The rest of the people are illiterate because the older generations don’t believe Tibetan people can get a job after their children attend school since there are very few Tibetan people who have an official job in their areas.
Except for the 25 official workers, all of other villagers are farmers, so their lives depend on agriculture. They plant barley, wheat, potatoes and peas in their fields. The richest families own 15-20 mu (1 mu = 0.0666 hectares), they can earn 2,000-2,500 RMB per year from selling their barley and wheat. The poorest families only own 1- 3 mu of land, so it’s impossible to sell their barley and wheat, sometimes those poorest families even need to buy barley from others to live off of.
The villagers are dependant on agriculture, but they also own at least 4-7 livestock, such as cows, female yaks, and horses, and three families also own 10-15 sheep. From livestock, they can earn around 900 to 1,000 RMB by selling the livestock, and can earn 200 to 400 RMB per year from selling butter and cheese . The sheep owners can earn 300-400 RMB from selling wool. The young villagers who did not attend school are earning money by doing outside work, such as construction work, earning 40-50RMB per day, or or working in restaurants and hotels, earning 20-30 RMB per day. The village’s adults can earn money by digging caterpillar fungus(Caterpillar fungus: That is a kind of herb, which grow on high mountains and grasses. People can dig it during the months of May and June; the best fungus can sell for 20-25RMB). Each piece of fungus can sell for 15 to 20 RMB, and the best fungus can sell for 25 to 30 RMB. Each person usually can earn around 4,000 RMB from digging fungus, and 30-40% women earn around 900 RMB from collecting medicinal herbs and selling sapodillas in the county town. There are 25 official workers; they can earn 1,800-2,000 RMB from the government per month.
On average, each family can earn around 5,000 RMB per year, and all of this money is used on food, clothes, festivities, children’s school fees, electricity, medicine, building houses and transportations. Families usually have around 700-800 RMB left after all those costs.
Each family has at least 4 to 7 livestock (cows, female yaks, horses, or sheep); they use them for work (plowing fields), milking and transporting things. Their village leaders made a rule that each family has to take turn to herd all the livestock in the village according to the number of livestock each family own. For example, if one family has ten livestock, then that family has to herd the whole village’s livestock for ten days. They sell livestock such as female yaks, horses, and sometimes male yaks and cows. Each animal can earn about 1,000 to 1, 200 RMB. They also sell butter and cheese to earn about 200 to 300 RMB per year, and wool to earn 300-400 RMB.
The villagers are dependent on agriculture; they plant barley, wheat, potatoes and peas. The richest families own 15-20 mu of land, and each mu can produce 500-600 jin of barley, wheat and peas per year. The poorest families have only 1-3 mu of land, which makes their life very difficult. They must buy or borrow barley from the rich families. Since the village is mostly dependant on farming, the weather is very important to their livelihood; lack of rain brings serious consequences, such as starvation.
The village is located at an altitude of about 5834 meters. There used to be a stable source of electricity, but in 2009, the county Secretary sold the best hydroelectric plant to Ganzi County (near Luhuo county). Now in Luhuo the electricity is too weak to provide enough for every household, so there are always power cuts, and now the biggest problem in rural areas is electricity. During summer and spring there is lots of rain and lightning, so the hydroelectric plant always shuts off the power, saying that it is very dangerous to use electricity in bad weather. During winter time, the river gets covered with thick ice, so it is very difficult to produce electricity from the water.
The project goals
The immediate goal of this project is to buy 58 solar panels for 58 households in Budu Village. The overarching goal of this project is to provide enough electricity to the 58 families in Budu Village, increasing the students’ study time at night and making it possible to watch TV during their spare time. It will also decrease the amount of money spent on candles, flashlight batteries and butter lamps.
- Unstable source of electricity: Until 2009, the hydroelectric plant in Luhuo(尼奇大电厂) had been a very good source of electricity, but at the end of 2009, the county town leader sold the Niqi plant to Ganzi County, which is near Luhuo. The plant always cuts power in Luhuo County and sometimes there will be no light for three or four days, especially in rural areas. Power is also cut because of weather changes. During the rainy season, there is a lot lightning, causing the hydroelectric plant to cut the electricity. During the winter time, the river freezes, and there is not enough water to produce electricity for the entire county, especially in the rural places. The sudden power cuts create inconveniences for families both at night and in the daytime. During the daytime, villagers are not able to watch TV, listen to music, or listen to the radio. Also, 12 families said they have to use light during the day at home because their houses have no big windows. So there is no light to use when light is needed in the house. Therefore, for 12 households in particular, it has been a very big problem to cut power both at night and in the daytime.
- Lack of money: In the village, only 20 households said they have no problems buying candles and flashlight batteries, but the other 38 households are strained by the cost of candles and flashlight batteries. Each candle costs 2 RMB and they have to buy at least 10 candles per month. Each flashlight costs 20 RMB and each of the batteries costs 4 RMB. Families buy at least 6 to 8 batteries per month, costing around 30 RMB in total. The total expense is around 70 RMB per month and about 840 RMB per year. Even when there is electricity, the cost is higher than in the county town. In the county town, each degree of electricity costs 0.33 RMB, but in the rural areas, it costs 0.7 RMB, amounting to 700-900 RMB per year for families in Budu village. So most of the families only use electricity at night when they have dinner. The poor households cannot afford to use power during the daytime.
- Health problems: There are some health problems associated with the use of candles and lamps, such as pneumonia and deterioration of eyesight. Pneumonia is caused by the smoke from oil lamps and candles. Children lose their vision, perhaps because they study at night with their flashlight and candles. An example of this is the experience of a woman called Renzhen, who always works hard for her family, but in 2010 she got pneumonia. When they went to the county town hospital, the doctors said it was caused by the smoke from oil lamps and candles. Also, some children have no time to study during the day; they always use candles and flashlights to study at night. So now many of the village’s children are having vision problems, and usually their vision gets worse and worse. The biggest problem is that they can’t even see the words that teachers write on the blackboard. Thus, their grades have dropped. Some children tell their parents about their eye problems, and their parents have taken them to the county town hospital for treatment, where they are given a pair of glasses.
- Inconvenient for people to work at night: Only 20 households can afford to use candles and flashlights all of the time. So at night, the other families have to stay in the dark. For old people, it is very challenging to go to the lavatories at night. Women have to milk at night and early morning, and without light, it is very dangerous for them to milk because they can be injured from kicking yaks and cows. Also, when women give birth, without light they have to face a very difficult night. Midwives have to wash both the mom and new baby, cut the umbilical cord, and then wrap the baby in a cloth, all of which are much more difficult in the dark.
- Lack of news sources: There are always powers cuts, so people have no chance to watch TV. In rural areas, the main source of news is TV. If there is no light, then it means people cannot watch TV and they have no chance to learn and know other things from outside, especially because many people are illiterate. If they have light and can watch TV, it would not just be for entertainment; they could also learn valuable information, such as how to keep healthy.
- If 58 households are provided with solar panels, there is no need to worry about power cuts. Even if it is raining, and lighting, or if the water used to generate electricity is frozen, they will not need to worry. Whenever they want the light, they can use their own solar panels.
- If this project is funded, they don’t have to buy candles and flashlight batteries, and to pay the fee for electricity. The villagers can use the extra money on food, clothes, medicine and buildings.
- If this project is funded, the health problems would decrease. For example, children won’t need to use flashlights, candles and butter lamps for studying; instead, they can use the electricity provided by the solar panels, decreasing loss of vision and pneumonia.
- It is very helpful for disabled and old people to go to the lavatories at night. It is also beneficial for the women who milk at night and early morning. It can provide more time for children to study at night.
- If this project has funded, people can watch TV to get more information about their country and the world. It can also help with learning new languages. Since many people are illiterate, TV or radio is a valuable source for new information（ The solar panels that will be provided are high enough quality to power TVs, radios, and stereos.
In this village, most hard work is done by women and girls, such as washing clothes, fetching water, milking, and farming (except for plowing fields). During the daytime women have to do lots of housework, so they have no time to watch TV, and at night they have little time to relax because electricity in rural areas is very limited, especially during the winter time. So they have no chance to watch TV, and almost never hear about country news and world news. The children can’t study at night because many of the children’s families have no money to buy candles and flashlights. So if this project is funded, it would be very helpful for those women and children. Also in those villages women never have opportunities to attend activities, such as meetings. According to village custom, women should stay at home to do the hard work and only men can attend activities or meetings. Because of this situation, I made a decision to let both men and women attend this project’s meetings, and let the village women share their skills and ideas. This project will help women to prove that not only men can do heroic things—so can women if they are given opportunities. This project will allow women to manage activities and make decisions in the process of implementing this project.
The governmental township leaders (Chos ‘dzam, and the clerk, Yama) are very eager to have these kind of projects in their community. The project manager had done two projects before (running water project in 2009 and solar panel project in 2010 for Zhuwo Village), so in October 2011, the project manager asked the leaders for permission, and both of them immediately agreed with her to do this project.
This project will take a total of 5 days to complete.
1st day: Receive funds, and discuss the price of solar panels with Blo bzang dphal sgron, the person who is responsible for the project activities in the village.
2nd -3rd day: Purchase and transport solar panels from Seda County to Luhuo County, then transport them to Budu village.
4th day: Hold meeting and give the solar panels to the villagers, teaching them how to install them and take care of the panels, as well as explaining its guarantee by the company. Take pictures during this process.
5th day: Interview the beneficiaries.
The steps of project
- Asked the village leader how many households in the village and had a meeting to ask what kind of problems the villagers have. (Done)
- Asked the price of each solar panel at the Dian neng Factory in Seda county (Done)
- Got government permission to do this project.(Done)
- Hold a meeting with the villagers.
- Take pictures
- Write the project proposal
- Purchase materials from Seda county
- Transport the solar panels from Luhuo county town to the village.
- Interview the 58 households members (both men and women)
10. Write final report for the project.
|Item||Number of item||Price per item in rmb||Donor
|The fees for transport and the laborers’ fees||0||0||0||2,800||0||2,800|
The total donor contribution is 61,118 RMB
The background of the 58 households
Out of 58 households, 54 families have children and all of them are attending school. The other children and young people stay at home, but when it’s time to dig caterpillar fungus, they go with their families, and when there is no fungus, they go to do construction work in the county town and townships. Under the age of 15, children always go to herd livestock. The income for the villagers is from livestock, digging for fungus, doing construction works, farming, and waiting tables. Many families have no money to pay for electricity(电费), so it is without question that they have no money to buy a solar panel. Each family will contribute 204 RMB for this solar panel project.
The 58 households are very eager to have solar panels, so the project manager Blo bzang dbal sgron is sure the 58 families will take good care of the panels. Also, the project manager asked the leader (马先生) of the company(岗井电器公司) if they could exchange the solar panels if they have any problems in 1-2 years. Mr. Ma(马先生) agreed and said they will guarantee to repair them if they break within 2 years. If they have problems after 3-5 years, there is someone in the village who is skilled in repairing them, and the families will be responsible for this cost.
In 2008, the project manager did a second-hand clothes project in Rilangda Village.
In 2009-2010, the project manager completed a running water project in Rilangda village, Zhuwo Township, Luhuo County, Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province. The total funding for this running water project is 23,394 RMB.
In 2010-2011, the project manager completed a solar panel project for Zhuwo village, Zhuwo Township, Luhuo County, Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province. The total funding for this solar panel project is 39,282 RMB
Map of the Project location