Rushan I: Inauguration of a New Cross-Border Energy Line

22 October 2017
Viloyati Mukhtori Kuhistoni Badakhshan, Tajikstan

We are delighted to announce that a new AKF-supported cross-border energy line was inaugurated this week in Rushan in Eastern Tajikistan! The line was installed by Pamir Energy, an Aga Khan Development Network project company, with support from the Governments of Germany and Tajikistan.

Rushan I has begun to provide long-term, sustainable energy to five villages in the Rushan district of Viloyati Mukhtori Kuhistoni Badakhshan (VMKB), bringing light and warmth to 7,800 people in Tajikistan and across the border in Northern Afghanistan – many of whom will be receiving energy for the first time in their history.

Prior to the new Rushan I project, firewood, oil, diesel and gas were the main sources of energy for the people of Tajikistan. Lack of electricity resulted in poor living conditions, as the use of firewood affected the health of villagers, causing respiratory issues. Access to electricity has now allowed businesses to grow, and helped support new employment opportunities. There are fewer incidences of health issues, as well as significant environmental benefits due to limited reliance on wood and diesel, consequently resulting in less deforestation and carbon emissions.

Rushan I has been especially beneficial to women and girls, as they no longer have to spend hours each day collecting firewood or washing clothes. This allows more time for education and income generating activities. Hamida recently returned to Deh Village from Russia since Pamir Energy made electricity available.

“I used to have to wash clothes manually for 4 hours every two days. Now it’s 30 minutes in a washing machine, so I have lots of time to do other things like spend time with the children.

– Hamida, Deh village

The official opening of Rushan I was held on Sunday 22 October where the German Ambassador, His Excellency Neithart Hoffer-Wissing, Governor of VMKB Shodikhon Jamshed, Rushan District Chairman, representatives of the German Government and the Aga Khan Foundation (UK) were in attendance.

“I am pleased to be back in VMKB; this project is a step forward in ensuring peace and stability in the border region of Tajikistan and Afghanistan. It is a celebration of cooperation of many government and non-governmental institutions to support the people of Deh in their own development and to enhance their living situation.”

– His Excellency Neithart Hoffer-Wissing