News / Science & Technology

Pakistan Villagers Find Creative Energy Solutions

Pakistan Villagers Find Creative Energy Solutionsi
X
March 13, 2014 4:04 AM
Parts of Pakistan suffer energy shortages because the country's grid does not reach all of its remote corners. In one section of Pakistan's Kashmir region, people have taken the initiative to create their own energy using small-scale turbines. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Zlatica Hoke
Many areas of Pakistan suffer energy shortages because the country's grid does not reach all of its remote corners. In one section of Pakistan's Kashmir region, people have taken the initiative to create their own energy from abundant streams and rivers, using small-scale turbines.
 
The Neelum Valley, in the Himalayan region of southeastern Pakistan, is sometimes called “Heaven on Earth” for its unspoiled beauty. Local residents want to preserve their forests and their clean environment despite a growing need for electricity said Shafiq Usmani, an official at a local hydroelectric board.
 
"All the beauty of the Neelum Valley is dependent upon those forests, streams, and neat and clean water, and this can only be sustained if we are giving them the clean energy," said Usmani.  
 
Less than half of the Neelum Valley's 200,000 inhabitants have access to electricity from the national grid. However, the Neelum River itself and its tributaries flow with enough force to produce energy. Some local communities use small turbines, called hydel machines, to generate electricity to light their homes.
 
"This hydel machine [turbine] was installed with a share from 50 families, which costs us nearly $3,000. We started this small hydro scheme as we needed it.  We only get light from it and no other electric appliances. We start this turbine at 3 in the afternoon and switch it off the next day at 8 am," said Rahimullah, one of the turbine operators.
 
Villagers say the homemade turbines have transformed their daily lives.
 
“When we had no electricity there was always smoke, as we use wood for heating and cooking, which causes diseases. Since we installed this project, thank God, we have gotten rid of these diseases and gained some other benefits," said Mushtaq Ahmad, a villager.
 
Even so, there is not enough energy for everyone's needs, and that means that trees still have to be cut down to provide wood for fire. Engineer Sardar Basharat Ahmad said the valley needs more turbines.
 
"Cutting down trees is a big loss, using wood for heating and cooking causes health problems. If the hydel is promoted and new projects are set up, it will fulfill all the requirements of the people like cooking and heating, and it will save the cutting down of green trees," said Ahmad.
 
Pakistan is plagued by power cuts, especially in the summer. The blackouts affect ordinary people's lives and hamper the economy. The country is using only about 10 percent of its identified hydropower potential.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: saeed from: england
March 18, 2014 1:59 AM
Pakistan govt is just a very greedy punjabi centric type of setting, pakistans electricity comes from mirpur in kashmir but they themselves in mirpur go through power, electricity ad lighting outages, its time for azad jammu kashmir to retake its independance, we dont need greedy pakistan which hates us and just uses us, for our natural resources, flood our historic villages and ancestral homes yets expects us to help and love them eventhough they have done so much havoc.. free "azad" kashmir... no more pakistan, no india just freedom. you pakistan invaded us in 1947 for ur greed and gains and displaced thousands of us... no more punjabistan or punjabistanis..

by: Shinoda Marikoh from: Daikanyama, TKO
March 14, 2014 8:48 PM
Why do we still have many people who can not access electrocity? We already have enough techcnologies to get enough electrocity for our lives and we can produce them cheeper in China or other developing countries.
We should use China people to produce infrastructure technologies for poor countries not produce iPhone for wealthy Europe and American guys.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More