All hamlets in the northern mountainous province of Tuyen Quang have gained access to the national power grid, improving local living conditions and socio-economic development.

More than 200,000 provincial households now have a regular supply of electricity, an increase of 40,000 since 2009.

Da Ban 1 and Da Ban 2 are the most disadvantaged hamlets of My Bang commune, Yen Son district, with almost all residents hailing from the Dao ethnic group.

Le Chi Cong, head of Da Ban 1 hamlet, recalled the hardships of life when all 148 households did not have electricity. Although they spent nearly 100 million VND (4,760 USD) on connecting their houses to power lines from neighbouring areas, electricity was weak and unstable due to the long distances and inferior electric wire quality.

Other families used water turbines to produce power, but these machines were only operational in the rainy season and became useless in the dry season, Cong said.

Tuong Van Quan, a resident in Da Ban 1, said since the hamlet gained access to the national grid, his rice husking expenses have been cut by 1,000 VND for every 10kg of rice thanks to the availability of electricity-powered facilities.

Meanwhile, 134 houses in neighbouring Da Ban 2 have also finally accessed electricity thanks to the national new-style rural area building programme carried out in the locality since 2011, according to the head of the hamlet, Ly Van Cang.

Local families have bought lighting devices as well as agricultural machinery, such as rice hullers and cassava grinders, that help them reduce production time and expenses, he added.

Bui Quang Hung, Chairman of the My Bang communal People’s Committee, said under the rural area building programme, the State-run Tuyen Quang Power Company built more than 4km of high-voltage lines, 15km of low-voltage lines, and two substations at a total cost of 10 billion VND (476,000 USD) last year, providing all houses in Da Ban 1 and 2 with electricity from the national grid.

Power access is a prerequisite for socio-economic development, helping My Bang narrow the gap between rural and urban areas to become one of the first three communes in Tuyen Quang province to meet all 19 requirements of the rural area building programme, he noted.-VNA