In Tajikistan, a US$ 26 million investment by the Tajik Government, the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) and other international agencies has expanded the capacity of a partially constructed Soviet-era hydroelectric power plant. The plant, Pamir 1, has boosted the supply of hydroelectric energy in eastern Tajikistan, especially during the critical winter months.
Photo: AKDN / Gary OtteIn many remote areas, development arrives at a stage when further progress becomes dependant on larger infrastructure issues, such as roads, telecommunications and electric power. In Uganda, for example, only five percent of the population has access to electricity. Rural electrification and the creation of electricity-generating plants then become vital to progress.
In Uganda, the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) has brought together local and international partners to invest in the US$ 860 million Bujagali Hydroelectric Power Project, the country’s first private hydroelectric power project, which has a capacity of 250 megawatts. Successfully commissioned in 2012, it substantially increased the country’s installed capacity for renewable energy production. AKFED has also promoted the West Nile Rural Electrification Company (WENRECO) in North West Uganda, to test the viability of private sector financial models for the generation, transmission and distribution of affordable renewable energy to rural areas through a localised grid. WENRECO has commissioned the 3.5 megawatt mini-hydro facility on the river Nyagak, doubling electricity generating capacity in a rural area occupied by over 1.4 million people.
“Even when demonstrably successful, community-based projects seem to reach a development stage at which they no longer produce continuing increments in returns. It would appear that when that point is attained, much wider forces of change have to be brought into play, such as mobilising new economic drivers and diversifying the economy at the macro level.” Speech by His Highness the Aga Khan at the Plenary Session of the Bishkek Global Mountain Summit, Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, 31 October 2002In Pakistan, a prize-winning AKDN programme has introduced micro-hydroelectric plants that generate enough power to light a village or even several communities. Over 180 “micro-hydel” units, supplying electricity to 50 percent of the population of Chitral, Pakistan, have been built. In 2004, the programme won an Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy in recognition of “outstanding and innovative renewable energy projects”.
In Tajikistan, a US$ 26 million investment by the Tajik Government, AKFED and other international agencies has expanded the capacity of a partially constructed Soviet-era hydroelectric power plant. The plant, Pamir 1, has boosted the supply of hydroelectric energy in eastern Tajikistan, especially during the critical winter months. Similarly, different consortiums of investors led by AKFED have built Kenya’s Tsavo power plant – a reliable energy source in southern Kenya – as well as the US$ 225 million Azito power plant in Côte d’Ivoire.
AKFED Brochure (2007)
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