By Sgt. 1st Class Theresa GualdaramaDecember 25, 2012
TARIN KOT, Afghanistan - A 22-year-old village contractor, Shafiqullah, plans to expand an innovative hydroelectric power plant system that has created electricity in the remote village of Kawri, Uruzgan, for several years.
Civil Affairs personnel from the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Uruzgan traveled to Kawri Dec. 6, 2012, to assess the handmade system and coordinate its possible expansion with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan's assistance.
Shafiqullah built the system by replicating those he saw in the neighboring Miribad valley region. The only outside assistance he received was through a non-governmental organization that built the canal walls.
According to renewablenergyworld.com, a hydroelectric power plant uses a small canal to channel river water through a rotary mechanical device that extracts energy from a fluid flow. The energy extracted activates the generator and creates electricity. The power plant in Kawri produces energy for the majority of the community.
"The hydroelectric power plant system provides electricity for about 25 families," Shafiqullah said.
Each of the 25 families contributed what it could to finance the power plant that cost 10,000.
With government assistance, Shafiqullah intends to expand the system to provide electricity for 100 families.
"There are a number of promising possibilities for the GIRoA to assist the local people of Kawri village," said Capt. Jude Mazzotta, Provincial Reconstruction Team Civil Affairs Officer.
Mazzotta and his team provided Kawri villagers with contact details for the Ministry of Rural Reconstruction and Development, which is a subgroup of GIRoA. MRRD develops and implements programs to promote responsible social and financial growth in rural areas.
According to Mazzotta, the civil affairs primary focus is to bridge the gap between local nationals and GIRoA. Kawri is one of the few villages in Uruzgan to develop major projects with minimal government assistance.