Yangon, September 24, 2013 – As Myanmar pursues reforms to accelerate poverty reduction and build shared prosperity, turning on the lights is an urgent priority for the people, and the World Bank is working with the government and other partners to help bring electricity to the people of Myanmar.
Electricity has the potential to touch every aspect of people’s lives, empowering them to take development into their own hands – enabling businesses to expand and create jobs, and children to study at night to prepare for a brighter future.
For businesses, electricity is critical. Tun tun Oo, manager of Thazin Printing and Document Company in Yangon, says he could increase income if they had a reliable supply of electricity. “When there is no electricity we use generators, but with generators, we can’t run all the machines, and the cost increases because we need to pay for fuel.”
U Pe Aung, Assistant General Manager for all water bottle factories under the Peace Myanmar Group, says he could do more business and hire people if he had more electricity. “I cannot increase our workforce, because the business cannot expand. They’re directly related. The main problem we are facing in these industrial zones is electricity.”
“The problem is that if we do not address the electricity problem first, the most basic obstacle, no matter how many telephone lines or internet connections or computers there are, you can’t continue without electricity,” explains Nay Phone Latt, Executive Director of Myanmar ICT for Development Organization.
He is also concerned about the future generation. “Information technology like the computer and internet will be tools for education, so children should be familiar with computers.”
Electricity would enable children to study at night to prepare for their future, instead of relying on kerosene lamps or candles. “I want my students to be educated so they have more opportunities,” says Daw Myat Marlar, a teacher at Lain Min primary school in the Ayeyarwaddy Delta region. “And life isn’t as hard for them as it is now.”