Improving safety and security in a district without connection to the national power grid
16 AUGUST 2011 | PAKTIKA, AFGHANISTAN
The remote district of Jani Kheyl in Paktika Province is home to approximately 35,000 people belonging mainly to the Molalzai, Jani Kheyl, and Malzai tribes. The Jani Kheyl bazaar, located in the district center, serves more than 500 people per day and includes four mosques, two schools, and approximately 215 shops. It has no connection to an electric grid. Because of the insecure environment of the district and the lack of public lighting on the streets, shops closed early in the evening, and police patrols in the area were at risk during the night. Local residents were anxious to turn this situation around and embraced the idea of solar streetlights to provide lighting for their community.
With USAID assistance, Zularistan Ltd., an Afghan company specializing in solar products, recently installed 22 solar-powered streetlights in the main bazaar of the district. Zularistan also provided three days of training on the operation and maintenance of the streetlights to two local men nominated by the district governor. The training consisted of basic instruction on how to set the timers on the lights, how to make basic repairs, and familiarization with the various parts of the lights.
Now that the new streetlights have been installed, the mood in the bazaar is much more positive. The new lights help the police patrol the area so that people feel safer and are staying out later at night, all of which has been a boon to business.
This was confirmed by Ahmad Gul, a shopkeeper, who said: “In Jani Kheyl bazaar, there used to be a big problem with security. At night, everyone was afraid because of the darkness, but now we can do business until late at night because of the lights.”
Khan Mohammad, a resident of Jani Kheyl bazaar, added: “Now everyone knows that the lights come on at night and they’re spending more time outside till late in the evening. The street-lights have helped the police a lot in patrolling the bazaar. They make the roads look nice too!”
USAID is committed to building the capacity of the Afghan government to provide its people with clean renewable energy to power their homes, schools, and businesses.
Last updated: January 20, 2015