Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP), Pakistan
The power of water brings new life to mountain villages
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region of Northern Pakistan, close to the Afghanistan border, is one of the most remote and challenging areas of the world to live. With no mains electricity in many villages, life grinds to a halt after sunset. But something the mountainous area does have in abundance is water. Since 2004, local NGO the Sarhad Rural Support Programme has built 189 micro-hydro schemes, bringing electricity to around 365,000 people and transforming communities in the process. Electricity makes studying easier and health care safer, while appliances like washing machines reduce the drudgery of housework for women. And access to power enables a multitude of new businesses to start up, from flour mills to hotels.