Solar tukis benefit 3000 deprived people

Youths find a reason to stay back home….
Women speaking of their issues. Photo: UNDP Nepal

The installation of 525 solar tukis (lamps) in 12 Village Development Committees of Rautahat, Sarlahi and Mahottari districts has changed the lives of 3000 deprived family members belonging to Mushahar and other marginalized communities. The new solar energy has saved money to buy kerosene and provides greater time for the children to study at night.

The beneficiaries say that they used to spend around Rs. 200 a month to buy kerosene alone. “I can now use the money to buy food or stationeries for my children,” says Matisari Devi Ram. Plans are under way to install more solar home systems in the year 2011, to reach out to the vulnerable, excluded and economically deprived population in the three districts. The installation of solar tuki saves the houses also from catching fire during the windy months in April-May which is a frequent occurrence in the Terai (low land) due to the use of kerosene lamps.

Highlights

  • In 2011, with LRP support, 6,003 disadvantaged households have received seed grants to start Income Generating Activities.
  • In 2011, with LRP support, 105 Women's Rights Forums were formed, trained and mobilised.

The solar tuki is a good example of coordination between UNDP Livelihood Recovery for Peace(LRP)project and the Government’s District Energy and Environmental Unit (DEEU). Each small solar home system costs Rs. 6000 and one third of the cost comes in the form of Government subsidiary through the DEEU and the rest is taken care by the project. The LRP project is also coordinating with the DEEU for further training the community to maintain and repair the solar home system. This helps the local community to understand, learn and sustain the technology as well.

Empowered women’s group !

It has been a year since the UNDP Livelihood Recovery for Peace project started implementing development programmes in communities through social mobilization. The communities are organised and empowered enough to ask the Secretary of the Village Development Committee about the vital registration papers and welfare schemes provided by the Government. An overwhelming number of community members have also got their citizenship in the past one year.

“We realize that the Government has a provision to provide scholarship to our children and that there is a budget allocated by the Government for the welfare of a marginalized group like us. Besides knowing about our rights, we are also more aware about the importance of sanitation and other important skills,” says Sonabati Devi, a local beneficiary of the vulnerable, excluded and economically deprived (VEED) community.

During the recent visit to the project site in Simardahi and Suga Village Development Committees in Mahottari district, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Robert Piper stated, “UNDP has the role as facilitator to unleash the potential that is within everyone in the community. It is not about bringing anything new from outside but we are helping to release something from inside and it is a great privilege for us. Also, it is fantastic to see how much the project has achieved in so little time and about the vision these women have for themselves and their daughters— to realize their ambitious dreams.”