ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) on Wednesday announced the launch of Euro 10 million multi-technology renewable energy project focusing on deprived and marginalised communities in 10 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province including Chitral, Upper Dir, Lower Dir, Swat, Buner, Swabi, Karak, Bannu, Hangu and Lakki Marwat.

The project is funded by the Federal Republic of Germany, through the German Development Bank -KfW, and is envisioned to be followed by a second phase of Euro 12.5 million.

A simple ceremony to this effect was held at Islamabad Club with former caretaker Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Shamas-ul-Mulk in the chair. Deputy Head of Mission, German Embassy, Islamabad, Peter Felten, Head of Division, Crisis & Governance, KfW, Jens Clausen, CEO PPAF Qazi Azmat Isa and senior officials of PPAF and its partner organisations were also present on this occasion.

The project is planned to be implemented through six well-reputed PPAF partner organisations, who will be working in close collaboration with the provincial government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and local stakeholders. The project districts have been selected on the basis of poverty ranking and potential for availability of renewable energy resources.

Overall objective of the project is to contribute to improvement of general living conditions and quality of life indices of the poor in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The project aims to increase access to energy for off grid, rural communities, reduction in use of fuel wood, kerosene and diesel as a source of energy for rural communities, increased employment and income generation opportunities for the poor through promotion of productive usage of the energy and strengthening of local civil society organisations and enhanced and inclusive participation of locals in decision making.

The rural and off-grid communities of the Project districts will be supported with renewable energy interventions using different technologies, such as mini and micro hydropower, solar lighting systems, solar-powered integrated water efficient irrigation. A limited number of renewable energy projects using wind-hydro-solar hybrid systems will also be piloted. The produced electricity will not only be used for lighting purposes but small and medium enterprises will be established, which will increase household income, add value to local products and transform lives of the poor and marginalised communities.

In the emerging area of renewable energy, PPAF has so far supported the implementation of more than 700 renewable energy projects of diverse types and various capacities. These include mini/micro hydroelectric projects, solar lighting and water pumping systems, wind energy projects, solar-wind hybrid systems, pressurised irrigation systems and biogas plants.

The carbon dioxide emissions of about 100 tons equivalent and other greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced through the implementation of renewable energy technologies so far, particularly through construction of Mini and Micro Hydroelectric Plants. Substantial improvements have been observed in local environment/ landscape and noticeable enhancement in wildlife and local forests.

Additional benefit of renewable energy projects are in the shape of good health, especially for women and children in the form of reduction in indoor pollution, improved lighting and heating facility. The turn-out to schools has augmented tremendously and children performance is noticeable in profile of their results through light at night. Communities are now more workable, secured and socially active.