The chorus in wooden houses

Siemens helps the traditional village improve the electrical safety.

The chorus in wooden houses

Siemens helps the traditional village improve the electrical safety.

Axilixi

“Axilixi, Axilixi. It’s electrical safety that you should know about…” In a classroom of Yinjiang Farm Primary School at Tongren District of Guizhou Province, students are singing in chorus an old folk song with new twists: the lyrics are re-written to weave in knowledge about electrical safety.

Carried by the wind, the beautiful chorus echoes in the neighborhood village Yangpo and also changes the life of people there …

The endangered wooden houses

Wiring in the house was usually worn out, haphazard and lacks proper protection.

In Guizhou Province, Yangpo village is located deep in Mount Fanjing – a historic destination for Buddhist worshippers for over 1,000 years.

The small village features lovingly preserved wooden houses built more than 100 years ago, including the residence of Yan Yinliang, a calligrapher in the Qing Dynasty. However, hidden beneath the antique woods were great risks that have been overlooked for many years.

Most of the wooden houses were poorly protected against risks from outdated and crude electrical systems. For example, wiring in the houses was usually worn out, haphazard and lacked proper protection. Some residents even used telephone cables for power connection. As a result, the village was very vulnerable to accidents like fires and power shocks.

Traditional Village Electrical Safety Protection Project

The new wiring in the house is clean and neat.

To help the traditional village upgrade and transform the power distribution systems and ensure electrical safety, Copper Alliance joined hands with Building Electricity Branch of Architectural Society of China to initiate the “Traditional Village Electrical Safety Protection Project”. The project received substantial support from government departments, including the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of the People’s Republic of China. After surveys of about 100 villages in Guizhou, Yangpo village was chosen as the place to start the project.

Since March 2018, Siemens and its partners have implemented upgrade and transformation of power distribution systems for over 40 households in Yangpo village. Their works ranged from initial surveys, planning and staff training to instructions at the construction site and the final acceptance.

The fight to protect wooden houses

Hu Hongyu and other participants of the project check the power outlet.

It was not an easy job to carry out the transformation project in such an ancient village. The project team had to optimize the solution upon local circumstances.

Hu Hongyu, Standardization and Regulation Manager of Low Voltage Products of Smart Infrastructure of Siemens Ltd., China, was a participant of the project on behalf of Siemens. “The traditional structures in Yangpo are gifts from history. Our goal was to implement the transformation in the most economic manner without damaging the houses,” said Hu.

After careful inspection and cautious consideration, the project team installed a ground protection system for each household, replaced the old wires with the ones meeting national standards and also installed electrical protection products like breakers. The upgrade and transformation completely eliminated the risk of fires and power shocks caused by faults of the distribution line. A ceremony was held in September 2018 to celebrate the completion of the project.

“After the project was done, the residents praised that the wires were neat and all switches and sockets worked well. The words were simple, but they showed that our efforts were valued,” he added.

In the project, Siemens also donated 25 sets of 5SU9 leakage protectors, 60 sets of 5SL breakers and about 300 switches and sockets, covering 25 households including the residence of Yan Yinliang. Siemens and its partners also composed a generally applicable construction handbook Essentials for Electrical Transformation in Traditional Villages in Tongren District of Guizhou. In the future, the handbook will help local construction personnel comply with standard operations.

What a song can do

Siemens has sent students specially-designed booklets with lyrics of the new Axilixi Electrical Safety Song.

Increasing the awareness of electrical safety among local residents was also an essential task for the project team.

Considering that most residents were either aged or small children, the team created a brochure written in easy-to-understand words to teach them how to use new switches and sockets correctly and what to do in an emergency.

Siemens also wove common senses of electrical safety into a local folk song Axilixi. Siemens volunteers didn’t only record the adapted song Axilixi Electrical Safety Song but also go to Yangpo and local schools to teach the children and residents to sing it, helping them remember the knowledge in a fun way.

In the future, the organizer of “Traditional Village Electrical Safety Protection Project” will hold a series of events to promote the project in more villages, counties, cities and even provinces.

Social responsibility

Hu Hongyu smiles a greeting to students on their way to school.

Standing by the door of the classroom, Hu listened to the children’s chorus quietly. “Upgrading and transforming electrical systems in traditional villages is a long and hard journey with many challenges ahead. If more companies contribute to this mission, the life of more people would be changed, and there would also be positive changes to society. This is where the social responsibility of a company lies,” said Hu.