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AFGHANISTAN A HAVEN OF HYDROELECTRICITY

Deep in the Hindu Kush, Afghan communities are working to install six run-of-the-river hydroelectricity-generating plants with a total capacity of 1.3MW – enough to power 63,000 homes and businesses. The hydro-generators do not require dams to be built and so are cost-effective and have a minimal environmental impact. In return for power in the villages, farmers must agree to stop growing opium poppies, but such is the appeal of electricity that this rule has largely been observed. A constant supply of electricity allows children to study, hospitals to function and artisans to ply their craft – all fundamental to building a resilient country.

Leaf map of the world © Imagemore Co Ltd/Corbis

INDIA ENDING POVERTY

The majority of the word’s poor share three traits: they live in rural areas, rely on land to survive, and don’t have rights to that land. Landesa, an organisation that helps poor families around the world secure land rights, has worked with the Indian government on an innovative solution that has successfully secured land rights for over 430,000 families.

Each family is given a ‘microplot’ of land about the size of a tennis court – enough for a home, small animals, a vegetable garden and fruit trees – and it’s changing lives dramatically. The government buys the land on the private market and then gives the rights for each microplot to a family, lifting them out of poverty in a way that is also costeffective for the government in the long term. www.landesa.org

RWANDA WOMEN TRANSFORM POLITICS

Thanks to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), whereby women have been trained as cross-party parliamentarians and legislators, Rwanda is transforming into a peaceful and stable country with one of the strongest economies in Africa. In the past, women had no voice in the politics of the nations and suffered terribly at the hands of warring tribal factions. Now women are leading partners in development projects as well as in government departments, where they have prioritised the reduction of poverty rates, which haven fallen by 12% in the last five years. “The transformation from a war-ravaged society into a vibrant and dynamic nation is evident everywhere you go,” said Auke Lootsma, UNDP’s Country Director in Rwanda. The country ranks number one in the world in terms of the number of women in parliament – now over 50%. www.undp.org.rw

Issue 275

Resurgence & Ecologist

21

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