Bringing Light Back to Homes in Azerbaijan

Community members in Piramsan village inaugurate new electricity lines installed with USAID support
Community members in Piramsan village inaugurate new electricity lines installed with USAID support.
Aflatun Verdiyev/UMID
Citizens work with authorities to renovate power system
“This project is a real product of joint efforts by community members and local authorities in addressing a longstanding problem.”

Improving the provision of electricity to households and businesses in Azerbaijan's Piramsan village in Shabran rayon has been a top priority of the community for a long time. For years, citizens knew that electricity supply lines, cables and equipment had long exceeded their technical capacity for delivering necessary electrical power to the community. As a result, short circuits often occurred during windy weather, leading to long-term power outages.

Citizens brought the issue to the Community Development Council (CDC) established with the support of the Socio-Economic Development Activity (SEDA), a five-year project co-financed by the Government of Azerbaijan and USAID. CDC members submitted a project proposal to SEDA in November 2012. The two organizations worked with the municipality and local electric company to prepare a plan and budget. However, the community encountered numerous bureaucratic hurdles and extremely long delays in obtaining permission from higher government officials.

Feeling newly empowered by what they learned about effective coordination and leadership, local citizens undertook a resolution. They combined their efforts through the CDC to create a community-wide campaign and successfuly lobbied the Ministry of Energy and power supply authorities to secure the official permits.

CDC members, municipality representatives, and the entire community demonstrated dedication, teamwork and commitment during project implementation and fulfilled their goal of improving the electricity supply to the community. In November 2013, the community celebrated the completion of the project. In total, 59 new and more durable electric poles were installed and nearly two kilometers of wiring replaced.

“This project is a real product of joint efforts by community members and local authorities in addressing a longstanding problem by working together to overcome many bureaucratic and technical obstacles," said Matlab Jafarov, regional representative of the Ministry of Economy and Industry.

Now, over 100 Piramsan households get regular and reliable electricity, with no more outages and short circuits during rainy and windy weather.

The USAID SEDA program, which runs from 2011 to 2016, supports small-scale infrastructure projects and socio-economic development in 100 communities in Azerbaijan while engaging citizens in decision-making.

Last updated: December 18, 2014

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