Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What help do the Bengoh villagers need?

Candle light dinner-but not for every night?
New Rejoi village-but unlit houses

While there are increasingly more people coming to know the plight of the Bengoh villagers due to the construction of the Bengoh dam there is a need to find out how the public/outsiders can most meaningfully lend them a hand. During the filming process the villagers showed great interests to instal mini-hydro generators for their new houses constructed at higher altitudes to avoid the dam. The crews were not able to document the potential sites for the mini-hydro generators yet-but the enthusiastic villagers told me recently that they are willing to send photos of the potential sites/waterfalls to me at the 1st week of October. So the much spoken about mission to deliver mini-hydro to the interior folks has heated up again. In fact the hope is not just for these 3 affected villagers which had constructed new homes at higher altitudes-but to also extend to all other suitable villages in upper Bengoh.

A very under-sized solar panel is on the left of the picture. High cost may be behind not improving on the size where it matters!
Some warning from the solar supplier-power too high?

Officially there are only 10% of the houses without electricity and light-and thus rely on increasingly expensive fuel to run limited hour generators. We believe there are more because we had seen some half-hearted effort to instal solar panels for these villages but the capacity is seriously lacking. Each house was given only a small panel which can light at most a single light for each house! These houses would be considered as electrified houses under official statistics! A more suitable and low cost solution would be to tap into the many waterfalls around upper Bengoh. The enthusiastic villagers also mentioned that they are willing to carry all the necessary components up their hills-since they are used to doing it, and they are all for their own/kampong's benefits.They also like to learn so that they can help others to instal the same green energy to their neighbours.
Another solar panel-probably mal-functioned?
Cultural show in Kg Semban performed under dim kerosene lamp!

So: all the warm-blooded members of the public-your turn to chip in financially and technically to realise this dream. For the few very fit (and young) folks who like to make a trip there to help instal the generators please contact us ASAP via email: meonet2010@gmail.com. The trip will take probably 3-4 days and require fit bodies since the only transport will be your own feet! But if you can make it to go and come back-the trip will make another film by itself!!!!!
Effect of romantic solar lighting?

For our part we will dedicate the sales of the Bengoh film's DVD to assisting the villagers to instal the mini-hydro generators. Your generous orders are welcome! See homepage for ordering details.

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