In April Mlinda opened two new operational bases in the remote, off-grid islands of G plot and K plot in the Sundarbans. These provide the opportunity of expanding our reach to more people.
We started with the participatory village mapping exercise with local communities. Then followed a community engagement process culminating in generating a significant demand for the micro grids. The community sees value in terms of affordability, reliability, savings, safety, ownership and access to greater financial services from banks. This demand growth resulted in installing of 25 household level micro grids in 6 villages reaching 240 rural households reducing GHG emissions by 29 tons per year. Encouraged by the household response, the markets have also come forward to convert from diesel to solar. 2 KW of market systems will be installed by the end of June, impacting 30 shops and reducing GHG emissions by 20 tons per year. The local governance structures and the banks have also come forward in terms of extending administrative support and financing solar loans for the micro grids.
At Mlinda, we see this valuable partnership not only facilitating access to clean energy but catalysing deep behavioural changes within community mind-set towards sustainable consumption and production.