“Currently over streets are lighted with streets lights during all night. While, a couple of months back even our living rooms were dark after dinner,” said Zmarak an elder of Kharyky village to the gathered crowd.
Two MHP (Micro Hydro Power) projects have been recently completed in Kharkay and Astia villages and provided electricity to 428 families of the mentioned villages, located on Durand line separating Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“Actually with one above, we had two doves; electricity is not the only/sole thing that inhabitants of these twin communities benefited from. We also obtained enough water for the irrigation of our fields,” stated Kamal, another aged man. Pointing to the river on his left he further added that before, this water was crossing the border and flowing to Pakistani soil.
“We couldn’t use this for our own fields/lands. But now due to construction of canal we run our MHP on it on one side which provides electricity for the entire village. While on the other hand, we can use it for the irrigation of our fields too. Approximately 12000 jiribs of land is under this canal,” Kamal elaborated.
Replying to my question about the capacity of their MHP plant another man who was sitting next to Kamal disclosed “the electricity is enough for us, even it is more than our needs” he further added that they were considering the option to sell it on their neighboring Ragha village. But they had not finalized the deal so for.
In addition to aged people in these twin villages children and teenagers were also satisfied and happy because of the electrification of their houses. Sabir Gul who is 14 told me that he was a student of grade 6 in the local school. Sabir Gul attends school in the morning and works in the field with his father during afternoon. Electricity has provided him the opportunity to do his study and home works in the evening that was not possible earlier. In spite of that, now Sabir Gul also enjoy watching television in his uncle’s house.
Giving financial details to the gathered crowd Shir Mhoammad the treasurer of Stia CDC unveiled that totally 1200000 AFA on Astia and 2100000 AFA on Kharky MHP project (approximately USD 66000) have been spent on their projects so for. This amount includes at least 10 percent of community contribution. While, some minor things such as painting etc are yet to be completed. Shir Mohammad claimed that enough transparency measures had been taken during the expenditures for project. The CDC expressed their preparedness to answer the queries of any one accordingly.
Zmarak an elder of Kharky village and an office bearer in the CDC mentioned another most important aspect of implementation of NSP i.e. creation of solidarity among the two tribes of his village. Giving detail he said that there was long enmity between two sub-tribes of Darwikhi and Mangal. They had killed people from each other and had no relation among themselves. This was NSP that brought these two enemy tribes closed to each other. Currently their representatives set and meet in CDC and discuss things and issues of their mutual interests in friendly manner.
Among 428 sub-projects submitted to MRRD for funding, 235 have been completed in four districts of Paktya Province, as per mid April 2004 report. Said engineer Lajbar, Provincial Manager of PIN (People In Need) in the province.
PIN has is active since 2005 in Paktia. In addition to NSP, PIN has implemented an ECHO funded Water and Sanitation project in Dand-wa-Patan and just recently completed Cash For Work intervention in Ahmadabad district, funded by the same donor.