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Jhimpir solar energy project launched

The USAID-funded project to electrify Jhimipir villages through solar system was launched on Sunday. Under the project being implemented by the Centre for Environment & Development, about 115 households would be provided with solar system in the villages of Union Council Jhimpir in District Thatta. Speaking at the project launch ceremony, Chief Executive CEAD Prof. Qalander Shah said that alternate energy has become the need of the hour, adding that Pakistan happens to be among the sunniest countries and solar energy was highly localizable. This could benefit rural areas in the country, where access to central power grid was sparse. He hoped that the household solar system would be more beneficial for rural women who remain engaged in multiple chores and they could give more time to traditional handicraft in order to improve their livelihood. Executive Director CEAD Nasir Ali Panhwar said that power crisis could be managed through exploiting indigenous resources, including natural resources such as solar and wind. “The solution will be long lasting and sustainable as it is based on our own resources,” he said, adding that thousands of villages were not electrified and the routine activities of villagers were limited to sunlight. He said that solar energy was not only cost effective but also environment-friendly and was without any operation and maintenance cost. He further said that the provision of solar system at household level would certainly bring far reaching benefits to the communities who were having no source of electricity and have no option but to spend major source of their income on purchasing kerosene oil for lighting purpose. Zahid Hussain Jalbani said that the use of kerosene oil for lighting brings many health problems and as a result poor people in rural areas were afflicted with many diseases. He said solar energy was efficient and farmers as well as fishermen could spend more time on enhancing their livelihood opportunities. Dr. Ali Murtaza Dharejo said that all economic activities were directly dependent on energy and hoped that the provision of solar energy to 115 households would change the life of as many families. Ghazala Panhwar said that the community participation, particularly women, was imperative for the success of the initiative. Rasool Bux Dars said that Jhimpir remained a neglected area as many development schemes were not implemented there and as a result funds got lapsed. He said that the provision of solar system was a unique initiative and would be highly beneficial to the local community that has been without any electricity. Raza Mohammad Palari said that due to the non-availability of light, children could not study after sunset but after the provision of solar system they would be in a better position to give time to their studies. He appreciated the support of American people through USAID. Qadir Palari, Ghulam Mustafa Shah, Fateh Mohammad Behrani, Kamal Palari and others also spoke at the occasion.

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