The development of microhydropower, as one of the solutions to the problem of energy shortage in rural areas, is becoming one of the priority areas for the GEF SGP in Uzbekistan. Now such a project is starting in the Fergana region, in the Uzbekistan region, in the village of Okmachit.
A simple canal can turn into a source of energy for the village.
We have already addressed the issue of microhydropower before. The first sign was a project in the mountain village of Chosh, Surkhandarya region. There, a micro-hydro station helped power the village's mill, allowing year-round access to flour production capacity. Then came an even more exciting idea, which we wrote about earlier in one of our articles. That idea at the moment is about to be realized in a full-scale project, where we can try how a micro hydro station can officially serve as an energy source for consumers around. Read about the news of the idea of a micro hydro station in the Andijan region in our article on the website.
But back to our project in the Fergana region. If we talk about the essence of the project in a few words, it boils down to the following:
In the village of Okmachit there is an entrepreneur who seeks to develop his business and his village - Rahmatullo Chodiev. Due to frequent power cuts, his existing workshops (rice and cotton mills) cannot operate, and he cannot further develop his business by creating jobs. Also, work becomes unstable for people working in these workshops. The carding shop was built in 2002 and since 2002 it has employed about 15 people. The rice cooker was built in 2010 and 10 people worked on it. Now there is no electricity in the village and these shops do not work and people are left without work. Restoring a constant supply of electricity will allow re-launching these workshops and thereby providing 25 jobs and the production of finished products. Rahmatulla has an idea to open a sewing shop, where 5-10 more women from the village can be employed. But the most important thing now is to find a source of constant energy that will allow the launch of production.
A canal flows near the village, water flows constantly, all year round. The businessman came up with the initiative to create and test how energy can be obtained using micro hydroelectric power plants. It was decided to test a micro hydroelectric power station with a capacity of 25 kW. This capacity will be enough to start the shops.
However, one of the criteria for assistance from the GEF SGP is the condition that the benefits should be distributed among the members of the community. We cannot support only business. In addition, commercial organizations cannot be applicants for the GEF SGP. Rahmatulla Chodiev is still taking care of and helping his native village as best he can. An agreement was reached that half of the energy received from the installed micro hydroelectric power plant will be directed to the needs of the local clinic and school, which also suffer from constant power outages. An agreement was developed and signed between the mahalla and the businessman on the distribution of benefits. In fact, the applicant in the GEF SGP is the mahalla committee, which acts on behalf of the village with a request to assist in the construction of a micro hydroelectric power station. In fact, the installation of micro hydropower plants is beneficial to everyone in the village:
these 25 kW of constant energy will improve the situation in the local hospital - the devices will work and more and better medical services will be provided to the population; electricity will be provided for schools and kindergartens; small business will develop in the village, which will increase the number of jobs and improve the standard of living and income of the local population.
So, let's see what results the project will bring.