"The Remotest of the Remote Communities" - Memories from Roshan Shah
Updated: Jan 29
Roshan Bikram Shah joined RVWRMP in 2009 in the first phase for Renewable Energy holding the responsibilities as Water Resources Engineer and in second phase as Technical Officer until he was promoted to the Renewable Energy Specialist in the third phase of RVWRMP. Over the nine years of working at RVWRMP he played a key role in building up a very much respected renewable energy sector. While leaving the Project, his feelings in references to the following four interviewed questions are presented below.
1. What are you proud of having done and contributed to in the RVWRMP over the years?
“We contributed to installation of 22 micro hydropower projects generating over 800 kW power output benefitting over 50.000 people”
I am proud that through continuously hard work Renewable energy has become so strong and could mobilize more money from donors and user families due to the outstanding results. During my time in RVWRMP we reached over 120.000 households with over 22.000 improved cooking stoves and we improved 191 water mills for over 28.000 people. We contributed to the installation of 22 micro hydropower projects generating over 800 kW power output benefiting 50.000 people. We also supported community groups with solar energy for water lifting and Hydraulic Ram Pumps.
2. What are the biggest changes you have observed in the life of the people in the Far-west and Karnali Provinces?
From the first phase of RVWRMP, the Project has focused on the remotest of the remote and poorest of the poor living under circumstances of hardship. I saw that promotion of energy based micro enterprises as end use of micro hydropower projects has great impact on the people of the Project working area.
“Improved Cooking Stoves and Improved Water Mill has heavily reduced the drudgery of women.”
Micro Hydropower Projects and other renewable energy activities developed with 20 village development committee in eight districts are improving lives of hundreds of thousands of people. The major impact I see in Education and Health of the people after getting electricity. The improved cooking stoves have minimized eye related diseases of women and children. Improved Cooking Stoves and Improved Water Mill have heavily reduced the drudgery of women.
The micro hydropower projects played a vital role in increasing income and livelihood development. Many energy based micro enterprises (EBMEs) are implemented after completion of the micro hydropower projects. For examples the grinders for grains, stationary, photocopies business, office services, computer education, photo studios, and other businesses. Electricity has brought comfort to communities and made it easier to work and manage time for other activities. I think that the Improved Water Mill is one of the biggest interventions to improve the livelihood of the poorest of the poor.
“The Improved Water Mill is one of the biggest interventions to improve livelihood of the poorest of the poor”
3. What is your message to the people that will continue working to improve the energy condition of the people?
“The Cooperative Model for implementation of the renewable energy technology is in my view the most important to achieve Sustainability in Micro Hydro Power schemes. Secondly, the energy should be directly linked with the livelihood opportunity for the people.”
Sustainability is the biggest issue. With RVWRMP we have learned very important lessons. The Cooperative Model for implementation of the renewable energy technology is in my view the most important to achieve Sustainability in Micro Hydro Power schemes. Capacity Development of the Cooperative and users as shareholders is very much needed. The people trust the Cooperative because it is their own and legal institution. The fundamental principle why I believe in the Cooperative Model for Renewable Energy promotion are: trust, ownership and participation.
First all the power generation and cooking stoves must be sustainable. Without sustaining the intervention of the renewable energy technology, we can never improve the energy condition of the people.
Secondly, the energy should be directly linked with the livelihood opportunity for the people. If there is availability of energy then the people could use it for improving their quality of life. By introducing the various end use activities, the use of generated electricity should be increased which will improve the economic condition of the people and also sustains the renewable energy technology that we have introduced. The modern cooking solutions like bio gas, improved cooking stove has to be practiced in each households. With the intervention by RVWRMP on Renewable Energy we have been contributing to the national SDG goal of: "Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030". As per the National Planning Commission report still nearly three-fourth of households in the country are using solid fuels as the primary sources of energy for cooking.
4. What will you miss most of the RV project and the Far West Province?
“I have learned so much to call this the RVWRMP University”
For me RVMRMP is one of the most beautiful projects in Far West Province. The project is very big and covers almost all districts of Far-West and two districts of Karnali Province. I like its remoteness, the cultural diversity of nice people at RVWRMP in such a diversified working area. I have learned so much to call this the RVWRMP University. I love all the hard working people with RVWRMP and wish them strength with supporting the transition to empowered Rural Municipalities.