Using Micro-hydels For Improved Sub-watershed Management in Swat

2013 Finalist

According to the government’s Water Challenges, in the Pakistan Report released in 2010, per capita water availability has dropped to an alarmingly low level. The project area has been facing deforestation due to a number of reasons including poverty, recent conflicts, militancy and natural hazards. At the same time, it is an important sub-watershed of Rivers Swat and Indus. The project aims at supporting the local community to restore these watersheds.

Project description

In the Early Recovery Alternate Energy Project of WWF-Pakistan, over 50 micro hydro power plants were installed in the flood affected areas of Swat including the project sites. WWF-Pakistan intends to capitalize on this opportunity and link it to the watershed management through development of a Payment for Environmental Services system (PES). This will be accompanied by the development of integrated watershed management plans and the introduction of low cost, easy to adopt and environmentally friendly stream and slope stabilization techniques.

Project goal and impact

The project is mainly focused on the ecological restoration of the flood affected catchments of Miandam and Chel-Beshigram streams.

Ecological

The long term benefits of the restoration will be an improved vegetation cover, reduced soil erosion and improved groundwater recharge. All these benefits will contribute to the overall health of the ecosystem and build the resilience of the target area against future disasters.

Economic

Sustainable management of natural resources; employment of skilled and unskilled labor to be engaged during implementation; improved vegetation cover which will meet the household needs for fuel wood and fodder and spare them from expenditure for purchasing these items. In addition PES will provide the opportunity to sustain functioning of micro-hydels as well as spend collected funds on conservation activities.

Social

Organization of the local communities and capacity building for managing the natural resources; communities are sensitized and awareness about the value of natural resources is raised; risk of damage from floods and landslides to lives and property is reduced.

Participation of the communities

WWF-Pakistan has been present in the area for more than 10 years. For this project consultations have been done with the local communities during the planning phase, furthermore Community Based Organizations and its committees are part of the implementation stage. The project will be regularly monitored and evaluated by the Project Advisory Committee (PAC) which includes the local community.

Long term viability

The project will devise a system to generate financial resources from the two Micro-hydel Power Units. PES will provide the opportunity to sustain functioning of micro-hydels as well as spend collected funds on conservation activities. The inclusion of local communities plays a vital role in making conservation efforts sustainable and long lasting.

Information about the organization

WWF-Pakistan has been present in the area for more than 10 years. For this project consultations have been done with the local communities during the planning phase, furthermore Community Based Organizations and its committees are part of the implementation stage. The project will be regularly monitored and evaluated by the Project Advisory Committee (PAC) which includes the local community.

Submitted by: 
WWF-Pakistan
Award year: 
2013

WWF-Pakistan 
P.O. Box 5180 Ferozepur Road 
54000 Lahore
Pakistan

Ibrahim Khan 
ikhan@wwf.org.pk