Bright businessThere are many villages in Nepal where labour migration has become routine—people go abroad for work and return home with some hard-earned money, andexperiences.
There are many villages in Nepal where labour migration has become routine—people go abroad for work and return home with some hard-earned money, and
experiences. Every day, nearly 1,500 Nepali workers leave the country in search of greener pastures abroad.
However, Kharbang district in Baglung is different. Residents, who once prioritised going abroad as labourers, are self-employed these days, and are also providing employment opportunities for others. They are inspiring members of their community as they seek opportunities in their own backyard rather than going abroad.
This evolution has primarily been attributed to the Girindi Khola Micro Hydropower Project. This UNDP-supported hydro project has been consistently generating 90 kW electricity, against the initial design of generating 75 kW, through the plant’s efficient operation and management. Girindi Khola micro-hydro, located at Dagatundanda of Badi Rural Municipality in Baglung, is 45 kilometres, a four hour off-road drive, from Baglung Bazaar. This hydro plant, constructed at a total investment of Rs 21,700,000 rupees, started its commercial production in October 2007. According to Bomal Ban, operator of the power plant, the project is supplying electricity to 920 households.
The success of Girindi Khola has rekindled economic activities within the catchment area, especially among the foreign returnees, has been able to tap into. The sustainability of the project has been ensured through productive uses of electricity. Poultry farms, copy-making industries, furniture workshops, and a noodle factory are a few local economic instutitions providing employment opportunities to the community while also guaranteeing revenue, thus contributing to the preservation of local economic development and sustainability.