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Panels bring light to villages devastated by war

Published

September 1, 2015

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Published:

September 1, 2015

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Life without electrical energy, refrigerator and television is still a reality for several thousand houses, Akta.ba reported. This is the experience of former refugees from the village of Očijevo near Martin Brod in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s west. After the war ended and they came back home, families lived without power for 14 years!

The grid had been destroyed, and the electric power company couldn’t break even in the project to install a line and substation for just 30 households 20 kilometres away from the town of Drvar. So the people relied on lanterns and candles, until two years ago the United Nations Development Programme secured solar panels to be installed through its Green Economic Development project.

People relied on lanterns and candles for fourteen years until the United Nations Development Programme secured solar panels.

The biggest problem had been about food, villagers say. “We had to get food just for one day. Even though people had their own meat and dairy products, it had to be thrown out as it couldn’t last long,” Mile Rodić from Očijevo said. Panels bring hot water, which is especially significant in winter, he added.

Since the off-grid renewable energy projects are still relatively expensive, help and incentives from the state are necessary, said Almir Selmanović from the Center for Economic, Environmental, and Technological Development – Ceteor d. o. o. from Sarajevo. The company’s expert underscored several organizations implemented pilot projects in rural areas, showing the solutions are worthwhile.

 

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