Villages in Nepal's rural mountain regions are finally getting electricity access thanks to mini hydro plants designed to provide clean energy and improve livelihoods.
Project aim: Renewable energy to support rural livelihoods and local businesses in Nepal
Project implementation: Installing mini hydropower plans to provide off-grid electricity for villages in the Nepalese mountains. So far, 500 micro power plants have been installed under this project
Project Duration: July 2014 - July 2019
Funding: Government of Nepal, Global Environment Facility, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
For more than a decade, widower Poorna Gurung has been running a small workshop that manufactures paper from tree bark in Nepal. It was once tough work as the bark had to be softened in warm water and for that, he always needed to have a fire going.
That all changed when he got access to electricity after a number of mini hydroelectric plants were built in his mountain village, Ghandruk. His life is now completely different. Gurung was able to buy a boiler as well as a machine to shred the bark, and was eventually able to expand his business.
In the Himalayan region Gurung calls home, many are dependent on these mini hydro plants for electricity — 40 percent of those living in rural areas have no access to electricity at all. But a government-run project aims to get others connected and help people like Gurung to build on their existing businesses.
A film by Julia Mielke