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 boat. 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 intrusion, 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 Primary School
The Cù lao Lá Primary School has 4 class rooms (for year 1 to year 4) and 4 residential teachers. Since the island is not connected to the national electric grid, there is no electric supply at the school. Vietnam Foundation provided the school with a solar electric system.
Solar Electric System
The system is used for lighting of the class rooms, staff office and power for TV reception. It is completed with 50Wp solar panel manufactured by BP Solar (Australia), charger/regulator, 100Ah accumulator, batteries and light fittings.
The project was completed in December 1997. Contributors of 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