Ha and her husband - Jiri Stuchlik - have over three years patiently persuaded the Czech Republic government to grant nearly 400,000 USD for solar energy projects for the sake of needy people in rural areas in Vietnam.
Doctor The Ha Stuchlikova (Ho The Ha) graduated from the transitory physics faculty, University of Polytechnique, in Russiain 1975. She then pursued a postgraduate degree in the Czech Republic. In 1984, she returned to Vietnamand worked at the centre of solar energy research and use – the Vietnam Science Institute. Since 1992, she worked at the Czech Physics Institute and now lives in the Czech Republic.
In late March 2008, the couple was busy traveling to western provinces to install solar systems for poor districts including Ba Tri (Ben Tre), Cau Ke, Duyen Hai (Tra Vinh) and Nam Du archipelago (Kien Giang).
It seems that the project has cost you both a lot of time and efforts
Once, we accidentally attended a conference on programmes cooperating with Vietnam held by CzechRepublic’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs which helped me understand that the Czech Republic government had an ODA fund for poor and developing countries every year. At first, that fund was delivered to 30-40 countries.
However, to make it more effective, eight countries were chosen, including Vietnam. The demand for electricity in rural areas in Vietnamis great, but it is difficult to deliver electricity to all these areas. That’s why we did this project in cooperation with Doctor Nguyen Dinh Huynh.
With the help of our friends, we carried out surveys in districts without electricity. After that, Jiri and I went back to the Czech Republic to complete our project. However, in 2004, it was difficult to win the project grant because the funding was delivered to other projects. My husband wrote to the Minister of Industry and Commerce for information about the feasibility of our project. In October 2007, the project valued at 400,000 USD was approved.
It took three years for the project to be approved. When was it implemented? How will Vietnamese people benefit from it?
After the approval, the Czech Republic’s Ministry of Industry and Commerce asked its companies for bids to supply accessories for the project. RE Agency and Solartec Companies were successful.
In January 2008, five packages including solar batteries and accessories were transported to Ho Chi Minh Physics Institute - which organised the transport to localities.
Between late March and early April 2008, we installed two solar systems at a school in Hoa Tan commune, Cau Ke district and the Culture House in Long Vinh commune, Duyen Hai district. In October and November 2008, we will continue installing solar systems at a school in An Hiep commune, Ba Tri district and two hospitals in Nam Du archipelago.
How did you arrange your work while you were in Vietnam?
Both of us had days off without salary so that we could do our best to carry out the project. We took advantage of this time to go and work wholeheartedly.
What was the most unforgettable experience during your trip?
The people in rural areas are very poor. They have to go to town by boat to charge batteries, especially in storm season they might face danger. At first, we intended to provide lighting for schools and dispensaries. However, the urgent demand of the people for electricity made the Czech Republic find another solution. As a result, two stations installed in Tra Vinh have new battery charging systems. I am glad because with electricity, people can watch TV and listen to the radio. But, it is still not enough for their demand.
How can you win more projects for Vietnamese people?
If I can get more funds, I hope to bring my project to every household then more people in rural areas can use solar energy.