Energy-Efficient Venture Boosts Economy in Rural Pakistan
While Northern Pakistan’s Chitral District is a relatively peaceful region in the otherwise unstable nation, it is nonetheless plagued by poverty and drastic environmental conditions. But two innovative programs – Acumen Fund, headed by Women in the World Summit participant Jacqueline Novogratz, and the Aga Khan Rural Support Program (AKRSP), one of Pakistan’s most respected NGOs, have teamed up to ensure prosperity in the area by building energy efficient mini-hydro plants that will provide jobs and improve housing in the region. AKRSP has already built 244 plants that are managed by local communities and provide power lighting for several hours per day in the district. With the help of Acumen Fund, they are planning to expand the mini-hydro venture. The new system will save families in the area an estimated 5000 rupees per month, money that can then be used towards investments, school fees, and health care.