This project aims to contribute to the vision of “Building Back Better” to rebuild disaster-resilient communities by restoring sustainable energy access. The contribution will be in the form of the restoration of the earthquake-struck micro hydro systems in order that the livelihood options for communities and individuals can be re-established.
A powerful earthquake and subsequent aftershocks and landslides caused massive destruction in 14 districts in central Nepal during April and May 2015. This led to significant loss of life and the destruction of infrastructure and livelihoods. Gorkha district lies in the epicentre of this earthquake zone and is one of the most affected districts. Practical Action had been supporting seven micro hydro power systems in this area. In 2013 and 2014, 14 energy based enterprises were established and were in operation. These enterprises had already increased the load-factors and monthly incomes of the micro hydro plants and associated households. After the earthquake, all of these micro hydro plants became non-operational as a result of the severe destruction. Around 25 associated enterprises were forced to close and about 2200 households are now deprived of electricity.
Practical Action carried out relief work in the Gorkha district and is continuing its reconstruction activities. Currently, its focus lies on rebuilding community infrastructure directly associated with normalising the daily lives of local people. Based on the rapid assessment in the Gorkha and Dhading Districts, energy was identified as one of the top priorities for reconstruction and this could be achieved by the restoration of the damaged micro hydro power plants.
The specific objectives of the project are: