A well-known NGO, The Heritage Foundation Pakistan, installed solar panels to a remote village of the country that was deprived of electricity for over 20 years.
Lachman Kohli, one of the pottery villages of Pakistan, had no access to electricity in the past. Residents solely relied on wood fire lights to see at night. Their days typically end when the sun goes down.
“We are lucky our children can study now. They study under the solar-generated light.” said one of the resident mothers.
The off-grid solar installation at Lachman Kohli turned out to be a blessing for the residents of the village.
The Heritage Foundation Pakistan installed a solar power system at Lachman Kohli to provide free-of-cost electricity to the villagers. The off-grid solar power made Lachman Kohli an energy autonomous village.
Twelve families in the village share the solar electricity. The Heritage Foundation Pakistan also installed a hand water pump to facilitate the villagers with clean water.
The solar power facility cost PKR 42800. After the installation, maintenance of solar panels and batteries was a huge challenge. Solar panel’s efficiency affects when dirt accumulates on the panels’ surfaces. For the maintenance, the NGO trained a local technician to upkeep the solar panels and batteries.
“I check the wiring and water levels in the battery. I have to keep it clean, so it will work properly. This can provide power to six light bulbs and a fan. I can earn money and support my family. Things are better than they were before.” said a local trained technician.
Villagers at Lachman Kohli earn their living by working in the fields during the day. Solar-powered lights enabled kids to learn at night after helping their parents in their day duties.
Moreover, the females at the pottery village gather at night to make pottery to earn extra money.
“Without solar electricity, we couldn’t see at night,” said one of the residents of the Lachman Kohli village.
Another villager stated;
“When we settled here, there was no electricity. We requested the connection from the national grid, and we were told that we will get it, but that was 20 years ago”.
It was the first time that the remote village got its own power supply that they could use at night. Solar generated power provides round the clock supply of electricity for the villagers.
The Heritage Foundation Pakistan, previously taught and trained the ladies of Lachman Kohli with the art of pottery. The initiative was meant to make the rural females self-dependent and earn extra through their skills.
The solar electricity provides the villagers a stable source of electricity, utilizing which the trained females of the village make pottery at home to sustain a life.
“With solar electricity, we make 2–3 pieces of pottery. I can make money by selling it. The more I make, the more I sell” said one of the pottery artists of the village.
In Pakistan, 100 million people lack access to proper electricity, especially in rural areas. Pakistan relies on fossil fuels for energy production. Over 64% of the electricity is produced by imported oil, gas, and coal in Pakistan. The country is already facing challenges to fulfill the electricity demand and overcome energy outages. With so many things going on within the country (financial and power crisis), installing a solar power system at a remote village is a big step taken by The Heritage Foundation Pakistan. The Pottery village is now energy self-sufficient and with that, it welcomes many more opportunities for the betterment of the residents.