KHINJAN, Afghanistan, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- "We have replaced lanterns with electric bulbs that lights our homes, and electricity enables us to watch television and get familiar with the world situation. Thanks to China for manufacturing small motors that facilitate us to build small hydropower power plant in our village," said Abdullah.
Living in the mountainous Duab village in Khinjan district of the northern Baghlan province, Abdullah, 30, told Xinhua recently that there are 40 families living in the village and all had used lantern in the past to light their homes at night, but today all have electricity in their houses and have started to watch TV series and world news on televisions.
Nevertheless, the villager lamented that the power they produce in their village is too weak to run a refrigerator or a washing machine, calling on the government to construct water dams and more powerful hydropower plants to provide more electricity.
Afghanistan, according to Abdullah, is a rich country in terms of water resources, and has the capacity to produce more-than-enough electricity to its citizens, even can export some electricity if the destructive war ends.
To overcome power shortage, the government has imported power from neighboring states of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Iran.
According to Wahidullah Tawhidi, the spokesman for Breshna Sherkat, a state-owned power company, Afghanistan needs 7,500 megawatts of power but currently only has a capacity of 1,450 megawatts in the whole country, of which 80 percent is imported.
The usage of simple-made power producing equipment, according to Abdullah, is on the rise and almost all villages in his district Khinjan and its vicinity have been using the equipment to light their houses.
Mohammad Sharif, a professional in construction of such system, told Xinhua that he had built about 200 hydropower generator plants in several villages and there might be some 500 such plants across Baghlan province to light houses.
In the areas where the locals are facing water shortage, the people use solar panel to light their houses, Sharif said.
"Building small hydropower plants and using solar system have utterly replaced the lantern with electricity bulbs and lightened the houses of many villagers over the past 20 years," Sharif told Xinhua.
Most motors used in making the small scale hydropower plants are made in China, Sharif added.
Many of the small scale hydropower generating plants in the villages, according to the source, have been constructed by villagers' fund and some with financial support from aid agencies or Provincial Directorate for Rural Development and Rehabilitation.
"We have constructed our hydropower generator plants five years ago and said goodbye to the diesel-run lantern forever. I and all my villagers are satisfied with the outcome," Mohammad Kazim, 60, who lives in Khinjan's neighboring Andarab district told Xinhua. Enditem