Pakistan’s energy deficits have left the rural poor suffering and deprived of basic amenities. Villages in Sindh’s coastal areas continue to be ignored by the government but local NGOs have extended support to help with rural development. One such NGO is the Indus Earth Trust (IET) that have provided electricity to multiple villages through their alternative energy systems. Our study focuses on village Hashim Mir Bahar where IET introduced rural electrification through solar panels. Our pilot study through which we studied the impact of rural electrification on health, security, gender relations, and income was conducted in 2016. This follow up study (which is a work in progress) is aimed at understanding the impact on a household level. The village is a complex system with all humans behaving differently. A project that started off with 22 households has expanded to 70 now. What we are aiming to understand is how the space network and economic status affect the villagers’ adaptation to change. As part of our study, we are working on an interactive map and an agent based model to simulate the village. Our study is for policy makers and for social and computer scientists. With our ABM, we can provide an exemplary model for anyone studying similar villages as well as social interactions. More importantly this model can help NGOs understand the impact their interventions and their decisions pertaining to those interventions might have on the people whose lives they plan on having an impact on.
Project Link: https://uploads.knightlab.com/storymapjs/f114f16a76d2b7ce7e5c0cb03bf0702d/bringing-light-to-hashim-mir-bahar/index.html
Hunza is an undergraduate senior in the Computer Science program at Habib University. She is also pursuing a minor in Social Development and Policy and her research interests lie at the intersection of the domains of public policy, design thinking, sustainable development and computer science. She has worked with the Aga Khan University Examination Board and Beyond the Classroom Education, both of which cater to improving the quality of education in Pakistan. She has been a part of the Stanford Summer International Honors Program and an Impact Challenge winner for the Environment and Sustainability track for the Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations Conference. Her final year project involves creating an agent based model to understand how villages in the coastal areas of Sind, Pakistan have been and will continue to be affected by rural electrification.
Mohammad Arhum is a final year student, majoring in Electrical Engineering at Habib University, Karachi, Pakistan, with a penchant for travelling and reality television. He is inclined towards the field of sustainable energy, hence, has done extensive research on the improvement in the efficiency of solar power generation. Arhum has worked as a research analyst for Indus Earth Trust, a nongovernmental organization that focuses on rural development through sustainable resources. His work entailed measuring the impact of solar electrification on the lives of locals in a village, at the outskirts of Gharo City, and providing Indus Earth with reliable data on the effectiveness of their projects. Furthermore, his work experience includes revising data related to switch gears of the Grid at Karachi-Electric’s Grid Station Maintenance Department. He is driven by a strong sense of civic responsibility and to his credit, he initiated a project, ‘Uraan’, aimed at equipping underprivileged school children with soft skills.