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9 Aug 2016 | Blog

Rasuwa Diary: Micro Hydro Potential

Anju Pandit

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Kathmandu, the Nepali capital, is a city with 100 percent reach to the national grid, but it is reeling under 14-16 hours of daily load shedding. Visiting Rasuwa, which has 71 percent access to the national grid, our team hadn’t anticipated brighter evenings. Assuming there would be limited internet access, our emails had been turned on to an automatic reply mode. To our surprise, on the day we reached Dhunche , Headquarter of Rasuwa, we learnt that there are no power cuts, except during extreme weather condition, in the region.  Lodging at a local hotel in Dhunche, we could charge our cameras, work on our laptops and had access to the Internet. We felt connected to our work and family, the reason being the Chimile Hydropower Plant. We were in Dhunche to feature the micro hydro plant and its implications on local livelihood. Our first evening there raised our expectations about the success of our field trip

Upon meeting local officers and NGO staff working in the energy sector, we learnt that the local government has accepted the role of micro hydro in rural electrification. Valuing the role of micro hydro in rural electrification, four micro hydro plants (Maur Khola, Machet Khola,  Kholsang Khola and  Daldhunga Khola) were constructed by the Rasuwa District Development Committee (DDC) with support from the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC), and the active participation of the local people. These four micro hydro plants produced 45 kilowatts of electricity, enough to supply electricity to almost 477 households (HH), for four months before the 25 April 2015 earthquake struck. The smooth operation of these projects that had literally lit up the lives and livelihoods of villagers living in this far-flung region was brought to a halt by the quake.

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