Restoring power to remote villages of Nepal

June 15, 2023


For the past two years, the residents of Bhukka Khola community have lived in darkness, deprived of the only source of power that sustained their daily lives. A devastating flood wreaked havoc on the Bhukka Khola micro hydro, damaging its intake and pipelines, rendering the village without electricity. With no alternative energy sources available and located far from the national grid supply, the community's hopes for power restoration seemed distant and unattainable.

However, last week marked a turning point for Bhukka Khola as the micro hydro was successfully rehabilitated after one year’s intensive reconstruction work, thanks to a joint project led by the Alternative Energy Promotion Center and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The local community, fueled by their determination, collaborated closely with a team of experts to repair the broken pipelines supplying water to the powerhouse and rebuild other infrastructure damaged by the catastrophic floods.

This critical project, funded by the Government of Japan, aims to rebuild or rehabilitate eleven similar micro hydro plants across Nepal, reconnecting over 70,000 people who have been eagerly awaiting the return of electricity. Moreover, the reconstruction efforts will generate short-term employment opportunities for approximately 2,500 individuals.

Over the past five years, all eleven micro hydro plants fell victim to natural disasters, including devastating floods and landslides. These remote villages, disconnected from the national grid, have been left without any alternative sources of energy until the damaged plants can be rebuilt.

"We are so glad to see the project coming back to life, thanks to the support of the Government of Japan. The villagers who rely on the energy provided by the micro hydro are overjoyed to be reconnected to power," said Katak Bahadur Bista, Chair of Bhukka Khola Micro Hydro.

The restoration of electricity signifies more than just the return of light; it symbolizes renewed hope, opportunities, and a brighter future for the residents of Bhukka Khola. With power flowing through their homes once again, children can study after sunset, families can enjoy the comforts of modern-day appliances, and small businesses can thrive with enhanced productivity.

The revival of these micro hydro plants, with a total capacity of 1.3 megawatts, holds the promise of reigniting the flame of 86 small enterprises nestled within these remote communities. By doing so, it will provide long-term employment opportunities for 95 individuals, including 30 women.