Roads & Electricity: Part 1

We recently crossed this bridge by motorbike (as I was riding pillion, I got down and walked, for safety!) to reach a village that would like to be electrified through our village mini-grid and power plant.

The village head told us that it is a temporary bridge. It will get washed away during the coming rainy season by the water current when the river rises above the bridge level. He pointed out the wooden posts protruding from the river, which were the remnants of previous bridges that were washed away in prior years.

Such access to villages in Myanmar is not uncommon. For the past one year, we have been operating a mini-grid in a village called Leik Chan that cannot be accessed by vehaicles when the river separating it from the rest of the world rises during the rainy season.

According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), “An estimated 70% of all villages in Myanmar do not have all-season road access and this affects a population of around 20 million people. Providing all-season access to all villages would involve constructing about 100,000 km of roads and upgrading 75,000 km of existing roads”.

While we, at Yoma Micro Power, are trying to augment Myanmar’s electricity infrastructure, these firsthand experiences make us understand the competing demands among different sectors like transportation, power etc., for investment. By bringing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the power sector, we hope to help Myanmar’s ability to address each sector appropriately.

– Alakesh Chetia, CEO & Founder of Yoma Micro Power

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