KARACHI - Speakers Sunday highlighted the need to promote alternate energy sources to combat growing energy crisis in the country.

Speaking at a project launching ceremony under which 115 household solar systems would be provided in villages of union council Jhimpir district Thatta, CEAD Chief Executive Prof Qalander Shah said that alternate energy is the need of the hour. He said that Pakistan is among the sunniest countries and solar energy is highly localisable. This can benefit rural areas in the country, where access to central power grid is sparse. He hoped that household solar system would be more beneficial for rural women who are engaged in multiple chores and they can give more time to traditional handicraft making to improve their livelihood. The project is implemented by Centre for Environment & Development with the support of USAID.  Executive Director of CEAD Nasir Ali Panhwar said that power crisis can be managed through exploiting indigenous resources including natural resources like solar and wind. The solution would be long lasting and sustainable as it is based on our own resources. He said that till today thousands of villages are not electrified and the routines activities of villagers are limited up to sunlight. He said that solar energy is not only cost effective but also environmental friendly and is without any operation and maintenance cost. He said that provision of solar systems at household level would certainly bring far reaching benefits to communities, who do not have any source of electricity and spend major source of income on purchasing kerosene oil for lighting purpose.

Zahid Hussain Jalbani said that use of kerosene oil for lighting brings many health problems and as a result poor people in rural areas are afflicted with many diseases. He said that solar energy is efficient and farmers as well as fishermen can spend more time on enhancing their livelihood opportunities. Dr Ali Murtaza Dharejo said that all economic activities are directly dependent on energy. He hoped that with provision of 115 household solar systems, life of 115 families would be changed.  Ghazala Panhwar said that community participation is imperative for success of the initiative. She urged the need for women participation. Rasool Bux Dars said that Jhimpir is neglected area and many development schemes have not been implemented and as a result funds have been lapsed.

He said that provision of solar system is unique initiative and would be highly beneficial at local community. Raza Mohammad Palari said that due to non-availability of light, children cannot study after sunset. But after provision of solar lights, they would be in better position to give time to their studies. He appreciated the support of American people through USAID. Qadir Palari, Ghulam Mustafa Shah, Fateh Mohammad Behrani, Kamal Palari and other also spoke at the occasion.