Since August, refugees have been fleeing violence in the Rakhine State of northern Myanmar for Bangladesh. While the basis of this story is very unfortunate, we’re trying to shine a positive light on some key factors within the story. Our thoughts and prayers are with all refugees seeking a peaceful new home.
Something unexpected was commonly noticed by locals in Bangladesh among the refugees; Solar panels. Green energy powering refugee camps isn’t a new thing, but refugees including a solar panels in their limited space for luggage on their migration is a new concept. “This solar panel saved my life”, said a once shopkeeper from Myanmar, who used solar technology to power a cell phone to ensure communication for safe travel routes around the pockets of violence and onto Bangladesh. Once arriving in their new home, there were no designated camps for refugees so they were left to survive on the street. Solar panels came to their aid once again and made sure they weren’t left in the dark or without communication. Now that camps are designated and assembled, solar panels are more prevalent inside the camps one would probably think, according to Reuters. While we’re deeply saddened by the refugees unfortunate situation, we’re glad to hear they have access to solar energy.
On a personal level, I’m appalled by the situation but I’m very glad to see people in Myanmar have access to solar technology. When you think of Myanmar, it’s doubtful easy and cheap access to solar energy is the first thing to enter your mind. By the way, $15 in Myanmar will net you a solar panel, battery and light. Remember that figure when you’re equipping your home or business for solar energy in the (hopefully near) future.
While we all wish we could, we can’t change the situation, but we can be thankful these refugees had access to solar energy to aid their safe and successful migration.
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