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115 households of Jhimpir electrified with solar system

Pakistan still has thousands of villages, which are not electrified and the routine activities of villagers are limited up to sunlight. Nevertheless, in a unique project, 115 households of union council Jhimpir district Thatta have been electrified with solar system.

The project is implemented by Centre for Environment & Development (CEAD) with the support of Ambassadors Fund Program of USAID. The villages covered by the project are off grid and received electricity first time through solar system.

The area has moderate weather and average sunshine availability ranges from six to eight hours.

The area is most suitable for the use of 40 watt solar house system that fulfils the requirements of the average household size for about four to five hours during the night time. Each solar unit consists of two energy savers of eight watts, one for room and one for courtyard, one portable emergency light to be used during night time, one-mobile phone charger to charge mobile phones that help the beneficiaries to have effective communication.

The CEAD Chief Executive Prof Qalander Shah said that the people residing in far-flung and off-grid areas still use kerosene lamps and other forms of energy, especially during night time for their own security, security of their livestock and other belongings, to keep them safe from the harmful reptiles and for education of their children and perform other household chores. However, community uses these kerosene lamps for only a couple of hours because kerosene oil is costly and harmful for health as its smoke causing asthma and eye related diseases.

CEAD Director Dr Ali Murtaza Dharejo said that all economic activities were directly dependent on energy. He hoped that with the provision of 115 household solar systems, life of 115 families would be changed. The solution was long lasting and sustainable as it was based on renewable resources. He said that solar energy was not only cost-effective but also environmental friendly and was without any operation and maintenance cost. He said that provision of solar systems at household level would certainly bring far-reaching benefits to the communities, who earlier had no source of electricity but to spend major source of income on purchasing kerosene oil for lighting purpose.

He added that use of kerosene oil for lighting brought many health problems and as a result poor people in rural areas were afflicted with many diseases. Solar energy was efficient and farmers as well as fishermen could spend more time on enhancing their livelihood opportunities. The area people lauded the support of American people through USAID.

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