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Setting up a micro-hydro training and service centre in Pakistan
Micro-hydro power (MHP) can make a valuable contribution to energy access in isolated rural areas but experience shows that servicing and maintaining such systems is crucial for their long-term success. In this context, the SEPS project in Chitral (Pakistan) launched a training centre and developed training programmes to address the skills gap in this area.
In collaboration with GFA Entec AG, a Swiss-based hydropower specialist, several workshops and training sessions were conducted by the conclusion of the project in 2019. Participants were equipped with the necessary skills to repair and maintain MHP plants independently, based on their previous technical skills as car mechanics or electricians. Since then, the training centre has become an established institution in the region for the maintenance of MHP systems. Five trained technicians take care of the existing MHP systems in the region and have already successfully repaired 30 MHP systems. In addition, the centre now provides equipment and spare parts and offers training for MHP operators in the Chitral river valley.
The financial sustainability of capacity-building initiatives can be challenging. In this case, to ensure a viable economic operation, the training centre supplemented its service portfolio by offering car repairs. This change to the original strategy underlines the importance of finding flexible solutions to ensure long-term sustainability.