Many people talk about how annual flooding and the threat of cyclones work together to keep farmers in Bangladesh from rising above the poverty line. However, there are other factors involved in the poverty levels, including not having basic healthcare or gainful employment. One aspect of the poverty in Bangladesh that is often overlooked is the absence of electricity in over half of the country. When compared to the coverage of mobile phones for Bangladesh, the electricity problems should be a first priority of reducing the poverty levels.
Estimates by Bangladesh government agencies say that the electricity grid only covers approximately 43% of the country’s population. While the electricity is in place in some locations, many residents are unable to take advantage of this service because their income level means that they cannot afford to make the regular usage payments. In contrast, some 70 million Bangladesh residents have mobile phones, nearly half of the population and slightly more than the amount that have electricity. Many experts are looking to social business programs and environmentally friendly methods of providing power to all areas of the country.
With Bangladesh having a large number of producers of solar panels, it is thought that these businesses may be able to play a part in lowering the amount of poverty in Bangladesh. By using government or charity funds to establish free power points for remote areas, the residents of these zones would be able to greatly improve their living situation with access to the limited electricity grid. In this manner, the electricity could be provided to those people at poverty levels without any additional charge, thus helping the people of Bangladesh enjoy the privileges that are common in other corners of the world. In combination with the growth of mobile phones, the remote locations would have no barrier to calling medical services in emergency situations.