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actualité | 02 Février 2018 | | Development

Alleviating energy poverty in Tajikistan

Arnokhun village, Tajikistan

ACTED plans new Micro-Hydro Power Station in Arnokhun

To guarantee stable and clean access to electricity in Arnokhun, a small village in Northern Tajikistan, ACTED, thanks to the support of the Nexans Foundation, is building a new Micro-Hydro Power Station, which will improve the quality of education and health in the area.

Poorest country in Central Asia but richest in water

The population of Tajikistan -– the poorest country in Central Asia covered mostly by high mountain ranges – is facing considerable energy challenges. Yet, the country is hosting the most important water reserves in the region, which remain underused.

In consultation with the local authorities and leaders of the remote community of Arnokhun, located in the North of the country, ACTED is going to use the water resources of the Surkhat river, crossing the village, to turn it into electricity thanks to the set-up of a new Micro-Hydro Power Plant financed by the Nexans Foundation.

How unreliable access to energy affects Arnokhun’s community

Arnokhun is a remote and mountainous community situated in the Zarafshan Valley. Here, the local population often experiences electricity cuts, especially in winter, of up to 18 hours per day. This has a tremendous impact on the everyday life of the community and the development of the area as a whole. Not only households, but also the school and the Medical Centre are highly affected, compromising the quality and delivery of basic services.

For example, the Secondary School, which hosts 62 children from Arnokhun and a neighbor village, is left regularly without light, thus preventing children to go to school. Children are left behind in comparison to their peers, who can benefit from a normal learning environment, limiting their chances of getting good employment opportunities. In addition, a variety of essential services, such as the local Medical Center (providing 5 beds for hospitalization as well as daily consultations), which rely on energy, are all affected. For instance, computers and printers cannot be used.

What a Micro Hydro Power Plant can change

First of all, a Hydro Power Plant will provide the local population with the electricity they have been denied for too long. Through this project, ACTED will directly contribute to put an end to energy poverty and as such improve the general conditions of the School and the medical Centre, and the community as a whole.

But how will ACTED achieve this goal?

The choice of a Micro Hydro Power Plan will allow Arnokhun’s population to make the most of its natural eco-system, while getting their own reliable and clean source of energy. With the water flow of the crossing Surkhat river established at 2 m3/s in winter and 10 m3/s in summer, the plant is expected to be fully operational all year long.

Supporting local energy ownership

While the plant itself will be constructed by a team of energy specialists, ACTED will support the creation of a User’s Association, which will be trained to be responsible for proper maintenance and use of the micro Hydro-Power Plant.

ACTED, in line with its community based approach, has already organized a meeting with household representatives of the target area in order to involve them in the different phases of the project. This will ensure an informed and active participation of the local population during the implementation.

Overall, ACTED is expected to contribute to a substantial improvement of the daily life of 152 inhabitants of Arnokhun and 77 in the neighboring Surkhat villages, a step further towards sustainable development.

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