Cù lao (island) Lá is in Mỹ Hòa village, Ba Tri district, Bến Tre province. The island is about 20 km from Bến Tre. To get there from HCM City, travellers have to go by car through Ba Tri and then by small boats. The local population consists of about 700 families, with 4600 people.
Previously, the local people grew coconuts and engaged in light industries based on coconut production. However, due to salt water incursion, since the early 90s, they switched to sugar cane growing. Because the living condition is very hash, it is very difficult to attract health workers and teachers to stay there to provide services for the local population.
Cù lao Lá Health Centre
The Cù lao Lá Health Centre consists of 4 rooms including an examination room, birth delivery room, the patients’ room and the administrative office. As the island is not connected to the national electric grid, there is no electric supply at the Centre.
Vietnam Foundation provided the Centre with a solar electric system.
Solar Electric Sytem
The system is used for lighting of the examination room, birth delivery room, patients’ room, staff office and for power for a black & white TV. It is completed with 75Wp solar panel manufactured by BP Solar (Australia), charger/regulator, 100Ah accumulator, batteries and light fittings.
The project was completed in December 1997. Contributors to the project included :
- BP Solar (Australia) for solar panels
- Vietnam Airlines for transportation
- Scitec Co. (HCM City) for customs clearance and storage
- SolarLab (HCM City) for installation and technical assistance