For the Dalit and backward communities of Accham district, 500 miles of west of capital Kathmandu, lighting their houseswiththe solar power was a dream. However, it came true in the life of Ram Bahadur Nepali, aDalit studentof Achham.
With support from NCCSP, people living in the remote villages of Achham are changing the way they light homesand saving the forest bygiving up on the use of pine trees to light their homesat night. A young high school student, Nepali is overwhelmed to see his house lit up.
Cut off by the national electricity grid, Achham's only good way to access the renewable energy is through solar panels.
Resident of Nada Village Development Committee, Nepali's family incomeis meager, as he is from an impoverished family. His family is also vulnerable to the vagaries of nature, and shortages of regular food and water.
Without electricity, life wasmore difficult for families like that of Nepali. Studying and carrying out household chores would be limited by the darkness, and they lacked access to basic communications.
Nepali is not alone benefitting from solar energy. With technical and financial support from NCCSP, the government’s solar energy project has helped to install solar power in over 80 households, targeting the poorest households and those run by single women.
“This simple technology has changed our lives,” said Nepali. Prior to the solar energy facilities in their households, the women would spend time doing chores in the daytime as they were unable to work in the evenings.
“Now they can focus on generating income during the day and continue any household chores in the evenings without worrying about darkness,” said Nepali. "The students can also study at night and improve their grades."
He also explains how the solar energy is helping improve communication services in the village by helping to recharge mobile phones and listen to radio. They are now better connected to news and weather updates and can call a doctor in an emergency.
An added benefit is the light in outdoor bathrooms which makes it less dangerous to use the toilet at night as the users can see properly how they are washing their hands thoroughly. NSCCP is enabling households to cope better when natural disasters and food shortages hit.
As solar light has brought changes, even the Intended National Determined prepared for submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat has agreed to give priority to clean energy. Currently, 56 percent of the population has regular access to electricity for lighting.
With an aim to assist government, Nepal Climate Change Support Program (NCCSP) is commencing the implementation of the climate change policy (2011) and the NAPA, and to support other initiatives, including coordination mechanism as well as delivering climate adaptation results at the local level.
UK Aid/DFID and European Union are the funding organizations with a total contribution of 14.6 million pounds in which DFID will contribute 7 million pounds and EU will contribute 8.6 million euro, approximately 80% of the funds allocated for the implementation by government will be used for local level activities and remaining 20% will be implemented for institutional capacity building and coordination at the national level.
NCCSP's LAPAs are being implemented in 14 districts, which are Achham, Bajura, Kailali in the Far Western region and Bardiya, Dolpa, Humla, Jumla, Mugu, Dailekh, Jajarkot, Kalikot, Dang, Rolpa and Rukum in the Mid-western region. The target area has an approximate population of three million. The primary beneficiaries of the program will be the poorest and most climate vulnerable people, particularly poor women and men from disadvantaged and marginalized groups.
“As our program has the twin track approach of linking bottom up (local) and top down processes to create conducive environment for effective implementation of local level adaptation options, we are focusing on grass root areas for poor and vulnerable people with the climate change issue. Our program is really bringing the tangible change in the livelihood of people,” said Naresh Sharma, Program Manager of NCCSP.
Sharma who is recently elected as chairperson of Adaptation Fund Board said that they want to ensure that climate adaptation is integrated into local development processes through local government, non-government organizations including private sector and community-based organizations.