BADIN/NABISAR - A local NGO namely Advocacy, Research, Training and Service (ARTS) Foundation has provided 150 solar kits to the people of backward Union Council Tali, Taluka Kunri on Monday. The solar kits were provided under the project of “Lighting Lives of Rural Community through Small Scale Solar Energy Project” funded by USAID Ambassador’s Fund Grant Program.

In rural areas of Sindh, majority of people have no access to electricity. They use kerosene lamps that are not only dangerous but also bad for the environment. Besides, they are too expensive for the poor people to afford.

As part of the lighting lives, five months earlier, the ARTS Foundation coordinated with the people of the villages of three union councils of Taluka Kunri including UC Tali for the distribution of solar kits to some 150 villagers. For the purpose, it worked with vendors, trained people and provided them technical support, and worked with various other organisations to link them with same villages for other kind of support. The benefits of this program are huge i.e. increased health benefits and cleaner air, more light for children to continue their studies after it darks, benefits for local women who practice embroidery and other works, and entrepreneurship that villagers have learnt by the NGO’s training.

Ms. Rehmat of village Mureed Bheel says “The solar system saves a lot of their money because buying the kerosene uses about 20 percent of the family income. The risk of a kerosene fire is also removed, along with the indoor air pollution, and now solar allows our children to study at night.”

Solar system still reduced kerosene consumption by half and lead to a reduction in emissions, which helps in terms of climate change as well as indoor air pollution. Households might not take into account these positive environmental and health externalities.

However, policy makers could take steps to extend the scale of the solar system provision and could help poor people by providing solar system in rural areas of Sindh in order to improve lighting and reduce emissions and pollution related health issues.