Poverty alleviation: Villagers thrive by using alternative energy
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
The farmers’ fields are watered even if electricity remains suspended for days, thanks to the alternative energy solutions. They say they have become an inspiration for residents of nearby villages because of the solar tube-well installed recently.
The tube-well – which cost Rs1.65 million – has been installed by the Rural Community Development Society (RCDS), a non-government organisation, with financial support from the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF). Around Rs320,000 of the total amount was contributed by 10 farming families. Each of the families uses the tube-well to irrigate their land according to a mutually-agreed schedule. The tube-well is operational for around 12 hours a day and irrigates some 40 acres of land.
“Our monthly [electricity] bill used to be around Rs85,000. Now we don’t have to pay anything,” says Maratib Ali, the president of the group of 10 households who benefit from the tube-well.
“Many farmers want to install solar tube-wells but are waiting for some help since installing them on their own is vey expensive,” he tells The Express Tribune.
Ali is so happy with the shared-resource formula that he thinks similar ventures in cities can help in tackling long hours of loadshedding. People living in the same street can buy solar panels to power their homes, he suggests.