“Little Earth” discussed energy cafe work with local people

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Нояб 07 2017

In mid-October 2017, staff of the environmental organization “Little Earth” took off on a field trip to Nisur village (Bartang valley in Gorno-Badahshan Autonomous Region) where an energy cafe had been opened a couple of months ago.

The team held a series of working meetings and consultations with our local partner, the non-governmental organization “Oyandasoz”, and the energy cafe staff. The meetings were held to discuss the current situation, technical and administrative matters as well as prospects of further development of this 'green start-up'.

The energy cafe was officially launched on October 15, 2017, with a presentation describing the project goals and objectives and opportunities that the cafe will be offering to local people. “Oyandasoz” activists in charge of the energy cafe reported the results of the first month of the facility operation. The village residents present at the meeting shared their views about the energy cafe work and offered ideas which (in their opinion) could ensure cost recovery and better service provision. Participants of the meeting thanked the project initiators and donors emphasizing importance and benefits of the project in the context of the general lack of electricity and Internet access in rural areas.

"Since the energy cafe was opened in the village, many young people started spending more of their spare time in the cafe. They got the chance to learn the basics of computer literacy and gain more familiarity with opportunities afforded by the Internet. Some of them even queue up to get into the cafe" - says the local school headmaster, Juma Jumaev.

"I used to be unemployed but now I have got a job at the energy cafe. I have an opportunity to earn money, however small, in my home village. Many local residents are glad that they can type a text, make a copy or just print something out without having to travel to another location. In the past, we had to go all the way down to Rushan or Khorog to do this" - says the energy cafe administrator, Khushhol Imomnazarova.

"The opening of such a facility represents an element of progress for us. We live in the 21st century and we need the Internet and access to other electronic services to evolve. There is no library in our village and newspapers are delivered only too seldom. With the access to the Internet we can read books and learn what is going on in our own country and the rest of the world" - says Daler Jumaev, a local resident.

It will be recalled that the energy cafe in Nisur village was opened under a small project jointly implemented by “Little Earth” and the Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature. This idea was supported by the EKOenergy Fund. For the facility to become operational the project procured two laptop computers and a solar power system with 1kWt capacity. The energy cafe provides Internet access to local residents alongside with other services such as typing, coping, printing, etc. It is expected that through the use of the energy cafe services villagers can receive information about energy saving and renewable energy sources and, in the future, they can even procure solar lanterns, solar cookers, energy saving stoves and other energy efficient devices.

Natalia Idrisova, Timur Idrisov
Environmental organization “Little Earth”