We are delighted to announce that a new AKF-supported energy line was inaugurated this week in Barsem, eastern Tajikistan. The new 13.8km, 110kV power line complete with metallic towers will improve the supply of sustainable electricity to 174,000 people in eastern Tajikistan and 32,000 people in Northern Afghanistan, including businesses, schools and healthcare centres.
The line was installed by Pamir Energy, an Aga Khan Development Network project company, with support from the Governments of Germany, Switzerland and Tajikistan.
Due to its mountainous location, Viloyati Mukhtori Kuhistoni Badakhshan (VMKB) in Tajikistan is extremely vulnerable to many types of natural hazards, including floods, mudslides, avalanches, and earthquakes. In 2015, for example, Barsem village experienced devastating mudslides, which destroyed 75 homes in VMKB. The mudslides also damaged road infrastructure and interrupted power transmission to Khorog town and surrounding areas. This significantly impacted the quality of life of residents, leaving over 74% of the population in VMKB without electricity for several days.
In order to mitigate such catastrophic disasters in the future, Pamir Energy constructed the new power line with metallic towers rather than the previously used wooden towers. The metallic towers are more resistant to natural disasters and can supply more reliable energy ensuring students can continue to study in the evening and doctors can continue to perform life changing surgeries.
“In times of trouble, you find out who your true friends are. When coming together during the 2015 crisis, we learnt something fundamental about this community and its extraordinary commitment to each other. By donating their time and labour, the people of Barsem have taken responsibility for their own development to create a better quality of life for themselves. We are grateful to the governments of Germany, Switzerland and Tajikistan for their support of Barsem and its residents.”
Matt Reed, CEO, Aga Khan Foundation UK
The official opening of the new power line was held on Saturday 21 October, where the Governor of VMKB, and representatives of the German government and the Aga Khan Foundation (UK) were in attendance.