Solar Water Pumping from Hunza River Enhances Local Livelihoods

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Youth install the drip irrigation at Passu village. 

A solar pumping system to irrigate the newly developed orchards along the Hunza River using drip irrigation in Upper Gojal, Gilgit-Baltistan. It is the first attempt to pilot solar water pumping and micro-irrigation in the arid region under project ‘Agricultural Water, Energy and Hazard Management in the Upper Indus Basin for Improved Livelihood’. The solar water pumping and micro-irrigation systems used in this project are low cost and reliable and will enhance the local livelihoods through high-value orchard production. The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in collaboration with Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and local communities piloted the solar pump lift irrigation system.  

PV panels to lift water from the Hunza River at Sost, Upper Gojal.

This activity is ongoing in villages of Upper Gojal — two six-acre orchards using drip irrigation, one a cherry and apple orchard in Passu village and the other an apple orchard in Morkhun village. The wetted perimeter of plant pits will also be used to grow seasonal vegetables. Under this activity, the locals are also being trained to install the technology in the region.

Local youth receive hands-on training on the installation of drip irrigation.