Lahore, March 18, 2013: Buksh Foundation partners with Imran Khan Foundation to light up villages in Dera Ghazi Khan, Mianwali and Dera Ismail Khan under the project ‘Lighting a Million Lives’. Through this partnership 3 villages will be lit up and provided with access to solar energy.
This agreement was signed recently between Chairman of IKF, Mr Imran Khan and CEO of Buksh Foundation, Ms Fiza Farhan at the PTI Media office in Lahore.
Under the partnership, the Imran Khan Foundation will support the establishment of Solar Charging Stations in the selected off-grid villages in Dera Ghazi Khan, Mianwali and Dera Ismail Khan, villages which are already constructed by IKF now providing them with solar lanterns for the use of the local population, which can be regularly charged at the solar-charging stations, established by Buksh Foundation. This initiative will not only provide clean energy to the villages but also holds multifold socio-economic benefits along with health and environmental advantages for them, whereby not only creating a social enterprise for the female entrepreneur but also increasing the standard of living for the rest of the village, enticing hope for a brighter future.
A female entrepreneur, endorsed by the name of ‘light lady’ will be selected from each village who would be responsible for the successful operation of the solar station. She will then either rent out the charged solar lanterns every evening to fellow villagers for a minimal fee, creating a permanent source of income for the females in the villages. Moreover, project will have a direct and a positive impact on education, health standards, income generation capacity of the individuals and would help fight the energy poverty state of the country. The use of solar lanterns, over its life span of 10 years will help save 500 to 600 liters of kerosene oil, eliminating about 1.5 tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere that is the main cause of global warming. The project follows a tried and tested model, established by TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) India, and has won a number of international awards for its impact generation capacity.
Pakistan is currently in the midst of an escalating energy crisis resulting from inadequate power generation and distribution capacity relative to its rapidly growing demand. Less than 1% of the electric demand is currently supplied through renewable energy resources. Currently, 70% of the population living in 50,000 villages are detached from the national grid and have no access to electricity. Providing them with electricity through the national grid is near to impossible as the current energy needs are not being met.
This initiative falls directly under Imran Khan Foundation’s mandate of, mobilizing local communities in building sustainable means of livelihood, social infrastructure and improve access to health care and education; improving the quality of life of the underserved communities through providing access to basic services. They strive to provide a credible platform for translating the emerging corporate social responsibility into deliverables for the rural poor and to get them access to the basic services they require.
At the signing ceremony between Imran Khan Foundation and Buksh Foundation for the project, Mr Imran Khan stated, “The project promotes a unique model, which its multifold benefits will create immense impact in the lives of those living at the bottom of the pyramid. We are truly in high spirits to have collaborated with Buksh Foundation and hope that this small step contributes towards the bigger change that both the organizations are aiming at.”
Ms Fiza Farhan, Chief Executive Officer of Buksh Foundation states, “This partnership will help create female empowerment in rural areas, help provide a Sustainable Energy Alternative for impoverished communities, increase economic capacity of the rural areas, while creating literacy about the needs for environmentally friendly energy alternates and the benefits they provide. Through this collaboration a total of 150 households will directly be impacted.”