The life-style of access to energy

Despite the cold winter, conversation at school is lively. Good quality English is heard in conversations in classes. This is unexpected in the small Afghan village of Bahor. The school is warm, because of the electric heater and the classes are well-lit with electric lighting. A young teacher, Sarigul, is giving a lesson. “English is a difficult language, but it became easier to study and pupils learnt more quickly because we got the chance to listen to educational programmes on tape recorders and watch programmes in English on satellite TV!”, he said.

This remote province has never had access to modern energy supplies before. The economic and human development of the region is stifled by the lack of power, especially during the cold winter months when schools, health centres and businesses must close due to lack of heat and light.

Since 2008, Pamir Energy, a hydro-electric concern in Tajikistan, has been extending its services to villages along the Afghan-Tajik border, bringing them year-round, 24-hour electricity for the first time. Now families can use electricity for light, cooking, TV, radio and telephones and doctors can use new equipement to treat patients.

Doctor Dzhuma remarked: “In our hospital all of the rooms are warm and well-lit and we can treat patients even at night. Before electrification, patients needing X-rays had to go to another town. Since most patients are in a very low income bracket and the cost of the trip was high, only a few people could afford it, which contributed to the high mortality rates, especially among children. However, the situation has changed since 2008”.

Today over 1,080 households are connected to the power mains and schools and hospitals receive high quality power supplies. Now 28,500 Afghans are connected to this cheap and green energy supply.

Pamir Energy Company