Solar power impacting the peace and saving the budget

02 Jun 2016

 Photo Credit: Sarvar Turdiboev

The word “peace” is pithy in lettering and so comprehensive in meaning.

Moreover, if you live in border village, you have to intensify your efforts every single day to save a fragile peace with your neighbors.

It usually happens that even a small dispute whether on joint use of natural resources or dark streets along border can shatter peace.  Only wisdom and experience can help to find balance between personal and general interests.

In January 2016, a new street lighting system was installed on two near border streets of Borborduk village, Zhanyzher rural district of Batken oblast.

One may wonder how street lighting can contribute to peace in border village.

Preliminary research interviewing not only local villagers, but also the rural police department revealed that in 2014-2015, many people had returned to village after being deported from Russia and it resulted in the growth of crime rate in Borborduk village with more than the population of 4000 citizens.

 According to village police department, only in the summer 2015, there were several cases of theft in Borborduk. Definitely those cases brought about some disputes and misunderstandings between locals and people of neighboring Tadjik village Histevarz. In fact quite frequently, people tend to blame their neighbors for their misfortunes.  If such cases of theft occurred in any other village, it might have gone unnoticed, but in border communities, they can easily turn into mutual recriminations with neighboring villages.

Street lamps were installed on central streets of Borborduk where the main social objects are situated – the building of village administration, rural club, sport club, school, sales points, mosque and rural police department.

Furkad Dosmatov, the owner of a small grocery store located on newly illuminated street tells that he graveled all holes as they were clearly seen after the installation of lighting. He confessed that it had not come to his mind earlier as it was dark everywhere.   

“Another feature of our street lighting system is that it is solar-powered. During the day, the solar panels collect energy in the batteries, after the nightfall equipment automatically turns on lighting lamps. At dawn the lamps again automatically turn off. So we don’t bare any expenses while the streets are illuminated through all night,” says Saatbek Egemberdiev, the head of Zhanyzher aiyl okmoty.

Thus, the installation of a street lighting not only improved the view of streets, but also contributed to decrease of crime rate and facilitated a dialogue between two border villages. It is essential that the system works on alternative energy sources and does not cause any harm to environment.  

According to Rysbek Keldibekov, the commander of the rural police department, no crimes registered on the territory of rural district in the last 3 months, 2016.

 The lighting system was installed within the "Cross-border cooperation for sustainable peace and development" project implemented within financial support of UN Peacebuilding Fund and Swiss Government.

Sarvar Turdiboev, Specialist of the "Cross Border Cooperation for Sustainable Peace and Development" Project

Altynai Nanaeva, UNDP Peace and Development Communication Specialist

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