CMU Faculty of Engineering has embarked on a project to improve the quality of life at Long Phae Witthaya School in Mae Suat Sub-district, Sop Moei District, Mae Hong Son Province by using engineering technology to increase safety zones that protect against PM 2.5 and improve electrical safety. This project is a part of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s initiatives.
Long Phae Witthaya School, offering kindergarten to upper secondary education, is situated in a remote area at the seam between three provinces: Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai, and Tak, making it difficult to reach. It often encounters area development problems such as electricity. Being adjacent to a national park, it is subjected to the restriction prohibiting the use of power lines, causing it to rely on hydro- and solar powers which are not sufficient for use. Moreover, the electrical systems both in and outside the buildings were in poor condition as a result of prolonged use, posing risks of short circuits and fire. For this reason, the Faculty of Engineering has redone the school’s electrical system in 23 buildings, thanks to financial support from the Office of the Royal Development Projects Board (ORDPB), to improve safety, as well as prepare for the solar power installation by the Ministry of Energy.
Another problem impacting the health of students and staff of the school is the high levels of PM 2.5 during January – May in Mae Hong Son and there is a necessity for safety zones that would protect students and staff who studied, worked and resided at the school from haze. The Faculty of Engineering has installed 37 positive-pressure air systems inside the kindergarten building and dormitories to help mitigate the impacts of air pollution and improve the quality of life.
As fieldwork cannot be sustainable without knowledge and skill enhancement for locals to use the resources correctly and efficiently, a training programme on equipment maintenance has also been provided so that students and staff can perform basic maintenance on their own – a professional skill that could also prove useful to them and the community.