Socio-economic and environment impact on small hydro power project in Nepal
Author(s): Raju Khanal and Anil KC
Abstract: The major thrust of this study is to depict the socio-economic impact of Micro Hydro Project (MHP) in and around the project area, Roshi Rural Municipality ward no 11 (Bhimkhori) of Kavrepalanchowk district, Bagmati Province, Nepal. The study attempts to appraise the importance of electricity in the development of the area. This research, however, focus on the significance of the micro hydropower project in local community in context of Nepal. The present study attempts to bring several aspects of the micro hydropower projects into limelight and analysis the significance of its impacts in the benefitted community (BC) (138 households) of Karamdanda Micro Hydro Power Project (16KW) at Bhimkhori, Kavrepalanchowk. This study is based on the primary data collected during the spot checking of the MHP. Direct interview with the benefitted household members, focus group discussion, and field survey during this study found that there are considerable changes in the living standards of the local people after the intervention of MHP. The BC has received various benefits from S/MHP benefit augmentation plans, as they are trained for goat rearing, off-seasonal cash crop production and similarly collection of fire wood, fodders, has been decreased which has helped in conserving the forest area. Cent percent respondents reported that the education status of the student has been increased with availability of electric light during the nights. The water diverted for MHP is used for irrigation which had increased the crop production. Small cottage industries are being increased and benefitted and the older migration trend has declined to null. 85 percent and more, respondents reported positive sociocultural changes in society. The training during the construction and operation of this project has been transferred to local people for the regular and smooth operation of the S/MHP, which has also uplifted the technical knowhow of the local community. During the construction phase there were some short-term losses to the local people but the project has brought markedly positive impacts in the community.