29 Oct Energy: Solar Powered School Boats in Bangladesh

Problem: Massive Flooding in Bangladesh In Bangladesh, annual flooding can disrupt school for almost a million students. In many areas, roads are impassable during the rainy season from July to October, when rivers rise as much as 4 meters (12 feet). In the worst scenarios, people are drowned and left homeless. In 1998, flooding inundated two-thirds of the country, killing 700 people and leaving 21 million people homeless. The future is not going to get better with scientists projecting over one million Bangladeshis displaced by rising sea levels by 2050. [caption id="attachment_273" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Floating school rooms (Image: Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha). Solar powered school boats offers education to kids in Bangaldesh (Image: Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha).[/caption] A homegrown nonprofit organization called Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha has built a fleet of solar powered school boats to ensure education regardless of flooding or rising sea levels. Shidhulai is the name of a village in Bangladesh and Swanirvar Sangstha means self-reliant organization. Mohammed Rezwan, Shidhulai’s founder and executive director, grew up in the country’s northwest, where his organization operates. Growing up, his family owned a boat, which meant that he was one of the lucky ones who could attend classes all year. “Many friends and relatives were denied access to education,” he said. “I thought if the children cannot come to school because of floods, then the school should go to them by boat.” Interested in more of my posts and other writings outside of Impact Hound? Follow me on Twitter: @shenge86
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