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January 29, 2011
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The 64-year-long wait ends at last!

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January 29, 2011

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MINGORA: After waiting for 64 years, a remote valley in Swat for the first time Friday got electricity supply when a United Nations Human Commissioner for Refugees-funded project was completed through the implementation partner Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP).
The UN refugee agency inaugurated the first 20KW micro-hydel power project in Barikot in Swat district capable of producing electricity for more than 80 households in the remote village of Mian Jai Wajoor Bandai.
The project is one of the UNHCR’s community-based interventions to light villages in the remote areas affected by the floods. This project was undertaken after extensive consultation with the local communities who consider the scheme as key priority for their livelihoods.
The UN refugee agency, through its main partner, SRSP, has launched 12 community-based power generation projects worth Rs30.8 million (US$350,000). In addition, the target communities made substantial in-kind contributions through labour and local materials. In total, UNHCR is supporting 12 such community-based initiatives in the region benefiting 1,755 households.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Ahmed Warsame, head of the UNHCR in Peshawar said that UNHCR was ready to support viable projects identified through participatory and sustained community engagement. He said inauguration of the project is a good example of how strong social mobilisation and ownership can improve lives of the entire village population.
The hydel-power project is one of the UNHCR’s 16 quick impact projects (QIPs) initiatives in accessible flood hit areas that are targeted to benefit some three million people. Chief Executive Officer of the SRSP Masoodul Mulk said the government plans to bring electricity lines to the valley had been thrown back by years due to last year’s floods.
He assured the over 1,000 community members assembled on the high mountain ridge for the inauguration that SRSP’s support to grassroots

development initiatives in the valleys of Swat would continue at a brisk pace.

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