KARACHI: Even amid the power outages people in Karachi can at least say that they have access to electricity.
For the people of three goths on the outskirts of the city, however, they don’t even have access to kunda or illegal connections. But thanks to the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) and Indus Earth, now three goths or hamlets - Abdulah Goth, Oso Goth and Daulat Faqir Goth - have light and power from none other than the great energy producer in the sky.
Bulbs and water pumps powered by solar energy have been installed in these small settlements that consist of 40 houses with around 300 people.
Most of the inhabitants are fishermen by profession and the women are known for their embroidery. First the fund surveyed the area, according to programme manager Aijaz Ali. Then 11 watt bulbs were installed at the houses and 14 watt bulbs in the street.
The PPAF funds most of the project and the residents have to pay just 7.5 per cent of the cost, which is from Rs22,000 to Rs27,000 per house or Rs370,000 per goth. After some carpeting, underground wiring and the installation of a small power station for each house, people can switch the lights on. Abdullah Goth resident Wali Muhammad now saves up to 70 rupees a day in kerosene oil because of his new solar connection.
“The whole house used to fill up with smoke,” he told Express News, adding that the goth’s people had to wind up all their work by sunset because nothing was possible in the dark. Indus Earth, the implementers of the project, says that it has been so successful that they are now considering operating fans with solar energy in the next phase.
Today, the very same people who were unable to venture out for fear of being bitten by snakes and scorpions, can now socialise and visit each other.
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