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Women and Energy poverty: personal stories

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Окт 05 2016

Mrs. Oshurbika Malabekova, 54 years old, Roshorv village

I am 54 years old and I live in Roshorv village in Bartang Valley. My family consists of 6 people. In our house we always face problems with the lightening and heating. Cooking of meal and boiling of water also need fuel, but firewood here is a big deficit. They are expensive to buy. In winter time 400 Tajik Somoni is required to bring a vehicle with firewood from forestry, plus 500 Tajik Somoni for petroleum and 300 Somoni more for the driver’s service. But we need also to buy meat and forage for livestock. And we spend a little to buy the cloth.

There is no any forest already. Everything is cut out. Even grasses and teresken (local bush) almost disappear. Livestock has nothing to eat, and when strong wind is blowing we can’t leave home. Sometimes it even takes the cloth away. If we would have a forest, we would have less dusty storms. We have to collect firewood from another bank of the river. And it is very difficult to carry them from one bank to another. Water is rough and cold. That's why I got sick. Now I can’t seat and my legs feel pain. We walk far away and carry over heavy bundles when we coming back. We pass the river by wading. Because of cold water we are ill and also firewood gets wet. When we burn them there is a smoke everywhere, and children breathe it.

Sometimes we use a gas. By the summer it finishes. Usually for 130 Tajik Somoni driver takes gasbags for re-fueling. Refilled gasbags are brought back from Rushan (district center town) or Khorog (regional center town). When we wait for gasbags we are forced to use diesel oil. We use around 1 liter of it in a day. We want to get rid of these sufferings. In order to change the situation we need to have access to electricity. We also need to use solar water heaters, solar cookers, to make our houses well insulated. And when we will do it, we will save money and will go to London (laughing).

Mrs. Abrigul Nuridinova, 45 years old, Roshorv village

I am 45 years old. We are 6 people. Our family has no incomes, only one of my sons helps me sometimes. He left home to work in Russia and for more than 4 years he is there. Other children help around the house. We have no other jobs and have no income. Children could not get good education since we had no funds.

When children were small every day with husband we picked the firewood. Once in a winter while searching for firewood we strayed too far away. My husband’s legs were frostbitten, and they were almost amputated. Now he is the disabled, and he shall not carry heavy staffs. Now he is only looking for our land plot. He doesn’t get disability pension. Our family has no money to buy gas or kerosene and therefore, we use only firewood. When my husband felt in such trouble we sent one of our sons for a work away from country. But he came back since something went wrong there.

All year around us pick the firewood or bush. In winter, mainly, our sons collect them. This is everyday and difficult work. We have no money to change old oven to new and good one. We have no technologies, which use renewable power sources. Now even there is no enough forage for livestock pasturing because all greenery around is cut out. We need to have the electricity in the village permanently, as well as to apply all possible devices using alternative energy.

Mrs. Asliniso Sabzikova, 40 years old, Roshorv village

I live in Roshorv. My family consists of 8 people; out of them three are school-aged children, two students and three adults me, husband and father-in-law). Elder children study in Khorog, son will be physicist, and daughter -philologist. There were no any solar or other technologies in our house before. Our Income in family is pension of my father-in-law. My husband and I farm and deal with livestock. When there is no power supply, we spend money to diesel oil for lighting and other needs. We consume up to 1 liter of diesel oil in a day. Here it costs around 10 Tajik Somoni. Sometimes we use kerosene oven to cook a meal. Now we also buy a gas. It refueled approx. once in a one month and a half.

The pension release is delayed still. We have no money to buy gas and diesel. We have to go for firewood every day. Often we do it together with neighbors. We get up at 5:00 o’clock at the morning, and go at 6:00. Sometimes we go far away from home at distance over 10-15 km. Sometimes we spend the night in mountains, and then at the morning come back with firewood. Two years ago we bought metal oven in Basid village for 500 Tajik Somoni when old one got broken. Still we use this oven.

To deliver firewood we need to pay for car, and we have no money for this. It is very difficult to go for firewood in in winter time, and thus we cannot find it enough. Our house is not winterized. There is almost always cold in winter, even inside. Window is old in the house. We close it in winter in order to protect against cold winds. And then inside it immediately becomes dark.
Once, when the children were small, we went with them after firewood. We picked them for a very long time, and passed over 30 km. Then children felt completely bad from hunger and tiredness. During winter usually men pick the firewood. This is difficult – snow is around and often there is strong wind. The authorities think a little about ordinary people and therefore, the situation is difficult in our village now and nothing is changed yet.

The material is developed by the “Little Earth” within the project «Clean energy and women on the roof of the world» supported by US Forest Service.