IDEA-NEW completed installation of five micro
hydropower plants (MHPs)in Balkhab district of Sari Pul province, providing 180
Kwatts of electrical power for a total of 1,230 households in Chaila,
Khamshorak, Dahana Wa Takhsar, Hoosh, and Parawshan villages.
MHPs provide a very effective means to spread the
benefits of IDEA-NEW to the mountainous areas of the northern region where the
possibility of implementation of other programs is limited.
The IDEA-NEW support included providing and
installing the mechanical and electrical equipments and supervising the civil
works contributed by the communities. Exceptional rains in 2010 caused flooding that severely damaged the
uncompleted works. Repairing this damage
was beyond the resources of the communities. IDEA-NEW provided extra
construction materials and implemented cash for work schemes for four of the
Mohammad Haidar, an elder of Dahana Wa Takhsar
community said “During the last ten years of rehabilitation, Balkhab remained
underserved due to its remoteness, so thanks to IDEA-NEW on behalf of the
people in this community. Undoubtedly we
have been the luckiest community to benefit from this assistance. Previously
there has been a private plant that sold electricity at an unaffordable price.
Now our community owns an MHP with a capacity of 60 Kwatt and all 380
households have benefited from this plant. We are paying a running cost of 5
Afs/Kwh, which is 75 percent lower than the private plants. The MHP has not only changed our home life
but also created business opportunities for us.”
For an MHP to be a sustainable source of electricity there must be a commitment by the community to manage and maintain it and to collect contributions to the running costs. Two people have been trained from each community to run and maintain the plants properly and collect contributions to the running costs from stakeholders.