Pakistan has been going through a severe energy crisis for the past decade, and so far the government has failed to overcome this issue using conventional modes with current infrastructure. In addition to the already disturbed energy system, recent floods and earthquakes have added to the damage leaving most of infrastructure entirely destroyed. There have been discussions on various projects including Kalabagh Dam but nothing solid has come out so far. With a growing population of more than 180 million people, Pakistan facing serious issues needs innovative attention and alternate energy resources.
The disadvantages are not just limited in a limited circle – people have died, businesses collapsed, resulting in a social chaos disturbing everyday life but it also has a huge impact on a country’s economic growth – most of the industries have collapsed and new businesses need energy to survive.
Looking at the country’s current resources, it seems very hard to resolve all these issues. There is a need for an alternate source of energy in Pakistan that could be provided with ease and affordability to most of the regions that need severe attention for getting their infrastructure back in line. Modern world is moving to clean energy models and there have been major developments in solar energy as well as wind power plants.
The dire need for energy in Pakistan has however created business as well as CSR opportunities for some. These include the Buksh Energy Foundation with their motto of providing solar energy options to rural Punjab, EcoEnergyFinance which provides cheap energy sources in rural Sindh and even our own, often maligned, KESC which has come up with their own version of alternate energy options for customers.
These along with some other local and international organizations have been transforming lives in flood affected rural areas as well as those regions that didn’t ever have any infrastructure for energy – where people still lived in the stone age era. Buksh Energy Foundation had lately been working with Microfinance portfolios based on 3 months, 6 months and 9 months basis focusing basically on improving life standards in rural areas, but later considering the growing energy crisis in Pakistan their focus moved onto energy. Fiza Farhan, CEO at Buksh Foundation elaborates, “Because to make a larger impact, you have to provide basic necessities to people whereby energy plays an important role. Without providing energy, no impact can be created within the society locally.”
In order to be innovative about its energy policies constantly, Buksh Foundation outreached several success stories and functioning alternate energy plants all over the world. And it greatly helped the organization integrating their projects with up-to-date information and technologies. In the very beginning the foundation chose Model of India- Lightening A Billion Lives Model (LABL), bringing light models to Pakistan that have been running in India for the past 8 to 10 years. LABL is a Nobel Peace Prize Winning Model. It is also a UN and IC Certified Model.
The Buksh Foundation decided to go on with it because India is a neighboring country and ethnically both countries have similar problems and most of the social trends. However it turned out entirely different when Fiza Farah, CEO Buksh Foundation visited India to see the real values delivered in comparison to provided statistics. She puts it this way, “As I remember, back in early 2012, we went to villages in India to see the impact of LABL there. To our surprise, we were turned off. There are so many projects ongoing but the reality and application of the projects is not very impressive. On these basis, we decided to launch our project in Pakistan with real statistics.”