Eureka: Solar panels bring sea change to villages surrounded by tributary waters

For the first time children in 65 houses of Thatta village can study at night.


Samia Saleem September 07, 2011

KARACHI: In the remote village of Urs Mohammad Khaskheli, near the Indus Delta, a man travels to the city of Darro, 10 to 15 kilometres away to charge the villagers’ cell phones. He makes a trip every third or fourth day. For Bashir, a 23-year-old schoolteacher, this was the only way he could keep in touch with the outside world.

The village is a small island, except it is not in the sea. It is surrounded by tributaries of the Indus River, which eventually drain into the Arabian Sea. This is why much of Thatta’s rural areas are still disconnected from the national grid.

But this has changed now. The village of Urs Mohammad Khaskheli is the first in Pakistan to have all of its 65 households fitted with solar panels.

An NGO called Connect - Woman and Child Welfare Organisation, adopted the village, with five others, after the floods in 2010.

Each solar panel powers two bulbs and a cell phone charger, according to the president of Connect, Talat Yasmeen.

The other villages include Mehmud Jakhro, Mungo Jakhro, Raano Khaskheli, Aachar Solangi, Umer Jakhro and Noonari in Mirpur Bathoro tehsil, in Sujawal taluka.

In each village, said Yasmeen, there are about 250 to 300 families. So far only Khaskheli village has been equipped. Connect plans the same for the other villages as well. Apart from providing electricity, the NGO has also been been working for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of these villages. All the construction in theses villages is now complete, according to Yasmeen.

Life in the small village of Khaskheli is changing gradually. “I can now study at my own will,” said 18-year-old Bhakhtawar. “I can teach in the morning at the village school and do my own studying at night under a light bulb”. Bakhtawar has completed her Matric and intends to go to Thatta College for Intermediate studies.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 8th,  2011.

COMMENTS (11)

Talat Yasmeen | 10 years ago | Reply

strong text @ Sophia: I can understand your frustration. But that is what I fight against always. Each day I and my members work towards making a difference in the lives of the people who live in utter poverty. Instead of leaving our country we should do our bit to make it a better place. It is an uphill task and the problems and obstacles are many. But we have to be positive, if we want our country to survive. @Mr.Mirza, it takes Rs.10,000/=for solar panels, stands, batteries, wiring and 2 bulbs. So, basically, it takes Rs.10,000/= to light up one house. No electricity bills for them after this of course!! @Mr. Laghari, We have installed solar panels at homes. I have no experience about using them for industries.

Hyder khan laghari | 10 years ago | Reply Great work by talat yasmeen, in this time energy crisis is big problem of pk, we need many talat yasmeen, this isn't good work for some village but this is great service for Pakistan, so how we avail this great aportunity for our area? My area is largest cotton belt of sindh province, v can make it powerless, garment , nd industrial hub but due to energy crisis there r only cotton jining factories, education,health, food all sectors still r in stone age,plz guide us v can do something for our country.
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