Thousands of Nepalese families devastated by the 2015 earthquake have been given the chance to turn their lives around after Practical Action reconnected them with modern electricity.
Since the quake struck, families in the remote Baglung district have been forced to look for alternative ways of earning money after micro-hydro electricity plants were severely damaged in the quake.
The charity has replaced and refurbished generators, fixed water leaks in the canals, de-silted tanks, repaired distribution lines and installed new meters.
It has also replaced one whole turbine and various parts of others, and refurbishing power houses.
Since the project began, almost 2,000 additional households have been provided with access to electricity via three micro hydro plants.
The project is designed to demonstrate the importance of taking a long-term approach to post-earthquake rebuilding, in addition to demonstrating how access to electricity can transform people’s lives.
Practical Action has also worked to ensure the community can make best use of energy access. Project workers have engaged and train local entrepreneurs. Additional demand for power was created by establishing 21 new businesses, ranging from mills for rice and wheat to construction businesses. These new businesses will ensure the long-term sustainability of the plants.
The project also worked to improve governance and transparency in the management of the plants. Of the 21 new income generating enterprises, two are wholly owned and operated by women.
The project will also be used to demonstrate to policymakers how important it is to remove policy barriers to micro-hydro and to support energy-based rural enterprises.
For interviews with the project team, and images from the project itself, please contact Abbie Wells.
Practical Action uses technology to challenge poverty in developing countries.
Our strength is our approach. We find out what people are doing and help them to do it better. Through technology we enable poor communities to build on their skills and knowledge to produce sustainable and practical solutions - transforming their lives forever and protecting the world around them.
By doing this each year we help around a million people break out of the cycle of poverty ... for good.