English news

"Sunny" gifts for the highlanders

The Little Earth continues to help the most vulnerable mountain communities in the Pamirs.

Another 34 sets of energy-saving equipment were delivered to families in need in three villages of the Bartang Valley (Rushan District, Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region of Tajikistan). This became possible thanks to a joint initiative of The Little Earth and the German NGO SunHelp International.

In early October, the staff of The Little Earth again arrived in the valley not empty-handed. Three dozen sets, each of which included a solar parabolic cooker, a portable lantern with a detachable solar panel and a 6-liter pressure cooker, were handed over to residents of remote mountain villages.

The first 6 sets were presented to the residents of the Varzhach village. It is located at an altitude of about 2,400 meters above sea level. A dozen households huddled tightly on the slope by the road. The village is so small that it is not even on the maps. It is home to about 50 people who are engaged in subsistence farming. The village has no access to electricity.

Residents of Varzhach know about solar cookers and lanterns - they have seen them in neighboring villages, where equipment was distributed earlier. Last year, they made a request to The Little Earth to help them too. Now they are provided with the same devices that they have already started using.

The next village, where households received equipment was Virinjaum. The village can only be reached on foot along the suspended bridge over the river. As in Varzhach, there is no electricity here, and the residents cut down rare shrubs, which they use as the main fuel for cooking and heating. That is why many of its residents were extremely pleased with such a gift. A total of 9 sets were distributed here - one for each household.

The remaining 19 sets were received by the most vulnerable families in the village of Ravmed. In total, about 300 people live here. Despite the fact that the village has its own hydroelectric power plant, many residents still use firewood and dried manure, especially in winter. Many people cannot afford the high cost of electricity. At a meeting with the leaders and activists of the village, the families who found themselves in the most difficult situation were selected. As a result, it was they who became the owners of the new devices.

A demonstration of equipment operation was organized for residents in each village. And if in Varzhach and Virinjaum many residents were familiar with it due to the proximity to the communities where The Little Earth worked earlier, then in Ravmed the residents first saw solar cookers and lanterns. A teapot of water boiling in the sun made an indelible impression here. All families, along with a set of equipment, received user’s instructions in Tajik and Russian.

The work of our organization in the villages demonstrate that inexpensive, but at the same time affordable and reliable devices can significantly change the situation on the ground and help mountain communities become cleaner, safer and more resilient,” says Anton Timoshenko, executive director of The Little Earth.

Over the past few years, the most vulnerable groups of the population in the high mountain villages of the Bartang Valley have received hundreds of sets of resource-saving equipment. Thanks to the use of the introduced devices, residents not only consume less fuel and improve living conditions, but also save the family budget, at the same time helping to reduce the load on mountain ecosystems.

Timur Idrisov, The Little Earth