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Standard Chartered Bank comes forward to start FRIENDSHIP solar village

Standard Chartered Bank Bangladesh in collaboration with Friendship, launched a new environmental sustainability project in a remote sedimentary river island (char), named Ghughumari Char in Ulipur Upazila (subdistrict) of Kurigram district.

Solar village are being established to meet the demand of electricity in remote river island (char) of the river Brahmaputra. 

he 54 KW solar power project is jointly implemented by International Social Organization FRIENDSHIP and Standard Chartered Bank, Bangladesh- SCB. 

The established Char Ghughumari solar power project is named ‘FRIENDSHIP-SCB Solar Village Project’. 

On this occasion, an agreement signing ceremony was held at the head office of FRIENDSHIP in Baridhara of the capital. 

FRIENDSHIP founder executive director Runa Khan and Standard Chartered Bank Chief Executive Officer Naser Ezaz signed the agreement on behalf of their own respective organisations.

The project encompasses three components: three types of tree plantation across 150 households, 60 tube well installations and a solar village (solar micro-gird) to provide uninterrupted electricity for all the char households. 

This particular char is selected as it is one of the most remote chars of the district, and there’s no scope for grid electricity connection there. As such, the installation of a cost-efficient 54 KW solar micro-grid is essential to connect over 750 beneficiaries (of 150 households) to a much-needed renewable energy source. 

In addition to electricity, each family is getting various types of local environment friendly trees for sustainable development. And 60 tube wells are being provided for drinking water. 

The project officials hope that, the benefits will be ensured among the residents by 2023.

Runa Khan, founder and executive director of FRIENDSHIP, explained the reason behind the establishment of solar village at char Ghughumari. 

She said that it is very difficult to supply electricity from the main grid to the Brahmaputra River. So, char Ghughumari has been chosen to ensure electricity facilities. 

The executive director of FRIENDSHIP also said that the plants of the Project will play an important role to face natural disasters like monsoon flood and river erosion.

Naser Ezaz, chief executive officer of Standard Chartered Bank, said this initiative is a multi-pronged effort that is targeted at helping a once isolated island to become more connected to the mainland. 

“By facilitating access to energy, residents across the Ghughumari Char will be given the power to explore new opportunities- children on the island will be empowered to learn with ease, new avenues of work will come into the light, and the ability to innovate will become more abundant,” he said.

Bitopi Das Chowdhury, head of Corporate Affairs, Brand & Marketing, Standard Chartered Bangladesh; Amir Rashed Khan, Director Corporate Affairs and Brand & Marketing, Standard Chartered Bangladesh; and Md Kamal Uddin, Sr. Director and Head of Sustainable Economic Development, FRIENDSHIP, Salman Rahman, Asst Manager, Partnership Development of FRIENDSHIP also attended the signing ceremony.

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