Solar energy partnership enables livestock vaccine storage in rural Laos
Sunlabob partners with Asian Development Bank to deliver eight solar-powered cooling systems, benefitting 4,000 villagers across three Lao provinces
Sunlabob Renewable Energy, a social enterprise specializing in renewable energy and clean water access projects in developing regions of the world, today announced the launch of a partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Laos to supply, install and provide community training for eight solar-powered refrigeration systems that will be used to safely store livestock vaccines and medical equipment in rural villages of Laos.
The eight solar-powered cooling sets – each of which includes one refrigerator and one freezer – will be provided to villages in the Sekong, Savanakhet and Salavanh provinces of southern Laos. Overall, the improved access to refrigeration will benefit up to 4,000 people.
Oftentimes, as is the case in many rural developing areas, these villages cannot safely and properly store important vaccines and critical medicines. Further, each of the selected villages has limited healthcare and education opportunities as well as no access to the national electricity grid.
“Access to renewable energy provides a multiplier effect that is critical to sustainable rural development,” said Andy Schroeter, Sunlabob Renewable Energy co-founder and CEO. “Solar energy is not only enabling the refrigeration of vaccines – the carry-on benefits in these communities include improved healthcare and better economic opportunities.”
The solar-power cooling units will offer the necessary equipment and energy supply for proper storage of livestock vaccines, reducing the number of livestock illnesses and deaths while also saving the communities money and time. Each set includes a 700 W energy capacity to produce electricity for the refrigerator and freezer which each have a storage capacity of 166 liters. Sunlabob will not only be responsible for installation and maintenance of the refrigerators and freezers, but also the procurement of the goods and the training of the villagers.
Sunlabob will utilize its community-based approach that focuses on technical training and capacity building within each village to ensure longevity of each cooling system – technically, socially and financially.
“Inclusion and empowerment of the local beneficiaries is a key to successful long-term sustainable rural development,” said Schroeter, in reference to Sunlabob’s approach of establishing village microenterprises through the implementation of renewable energy and clean water.
The company has honed its operational models not only in Laos, but also throughout Southeast Asia, Africa, India and the Pacific Islands.
Sunlabob most recently partnered with ADB and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in the summer of 2012 when the company delivered 44 solar-powered refrigerators as part of 22 cooling units that are benefiting 11,000 rural Laotians across five provinces in southern Laos.
For more information about Sunlabob’s solar-powered cooling products and solutions please visit the company’s presentation here.