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< prev - next > Social and economic development discovering technologists (Printable PDF)
Gender and Technology Training Guidelines
The national Electricity Board has targeted the village as a site for the development
of a village hydro-electric scheme. The scheme has the capacity to provide 50 of the
100 village households with electricity. A small dam will be built across the river
running through the village and the water will be diverted through a PVC pipeline to
the powerhouse. From the powerhouse the water will re-enter the river so it will not
affect water needed for irrigation of the paddy fields.
A village electricity consumer society has been formed to manage the scheme. They
will organise the construction of the civil works and decide the distribution of the
electricity. To be eligible for a connection, households will have to contribute
equity, either in terms of cash or labour.
The society has come up with a number of suggestions for ways in which the
electricity could be used. One, favoured by the village youth society is to set up a
small metal workshop to be run by the village youth society. The youth society
comprises a large number of unemployed young men and women. Other suggestions
are to supply the village hall with lighting and television for those whose houses
cannot be joined to the power supply and a communal grinding machine.
A majority of the families in the village depend on rubber tapping in the nearby
rubber plantations for an income. The paddy lands in the village are owned by a
handful of wealthy families. Rubber tapping is carried out primarily by the women
who spend about six to seven hours a day on this work. A few families own about a
dozen rubber trees each. They gain an additional income by taking the latex from
these trees to be processed in the adjoining village. Many of the men in these
families have gone to the city for employment and only return to the village on
weekends. Several others have joined the army. There are fourteen very poor
households in the village. These households are headed by women with young
children. Their husbands have been killed or have disappeared during the recent
political upheavals in the area.