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Hydro power improves village life

Updated: 26 June 2014

Mulan Farahudin is chairman of the village council in the village Pase Konda in Afghanistan. The village has received a grant for a small hydroelectric power plant from the national solidarity program, but has also amassed its own resources.

 "Now all the children in my village can do their homework every evening," says Mulana Farahudin, chairman of the village council in the village Pase Konda in Afghanistan.

The small hydro power station supplies electricity to 300 families since it was built a year ago. The whole village was involved and paid and worked towards its completion.

 "We received two million afghani from the development programme National Solidarity Programme for the procurement, but we decided that we wanted an even more powerful generator so we collected more money in the village," Mulana says with pride.

The village eventually managed to raise a third of the total cost of the hydro power station, an astonishing effort for a village in a poor rural area.
When the development programme was started, a development council was founded in the village, just like in almost all the other villages in the country. They quickly agreed that electricity was the most important factor for development in their village. They contacted the provincial office and their proposal was approved.

"Before we built the power station, those who wanted light in the evening had to use an oil lamp and had to buy oil. It was both precarious and expensive," Mulana Farahudin explains.

Many villages in the area have worked hard to get electricity. Now, several villages in this district have small power stations. Every family now pays 35 afghani (approximately SEK 5) a month for the use of electricity. The fees are used for maintenance. There is a strong sense of shared ownership in the village.

 "Twice, the powerful river has destroyed the inlet to the channel which leads the water to the turbine, but both times we have repaired it together," Mulana says.

In Pase Konda, the power station only produces electricity in the evening and at night. Daytime, they do not let the water flow through the system as it is muddy and creates more work to keep it clean.

That the village only has access to electricity in the evening and at night is not a problem according to Mulana Farahudin.

 "It is mainly in the evening that we need electricity, but if our needs change they can extend the production to daytime as well. Because it is the village council that decides."


Page owner: Department for Asia, North Africa and Humanitarian Assistance

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