BAMYAN CITY - After protesting over the lack of electricity in Bamyan city, hundreds of families will soon have access to power. The installation of two generators that produce 1,200 kilowatts of electricity – enough to provide power for 750 homes and 500 businesses – began this week in Bamyan city.
According to Bamyan governor Habiba Surabi, the Norwegian embassy provided $862,000 for the million-dollar project, and the Kabul Group, a private company, provided the rest. She added that the Bamyan Directorate of Water and Power provided the land for the generating facility.
The project will be implemented by the Agha Khan Development Network (AKDN) and is scheduled to be finished by December 2011.
Bamyan residents are happy about this project, especially students.
"We don't have electricity to study and have to use gas lanterns," said Mohammad Murtaza, a student in the 9th grade. "If electricity comes we can study better and we can use computers and TVs."
But many residents are waiting until the project is completed before they celebrate. Mohammad Sajad Muhseni, an Imam in Bamyan, said that just like previous projects, this one might never be implemented. He said that many times in the past, the government promised to bring electricity, but didn't fulfill those promises.
Haji Talib, a resident of Shahidan village of central Bamyan said he uses solar power to light his house because the government doesn't provide electricity to the people of Bamyan. Engineer Mehrabudin Joya, head of the Bamyan electricity directorate, said that in the past, the directorate was connected to the Parwan electricity directorate. But now that it is independent, he said, it will do all it can to provide electricity for the people of Bamyan.
According to information provided by local officials, about 8,000 families living in Bamyan city lack electricity, and probably half of those are relying on gas lamps.
Another large-scale electric project was initiated by the governor of Bamyan and USAID about a year and a half ago, but construction has not yet begun. That project will be implemented in the Toopchi region, and will cost $2 million.