In Malawi, only one person in 2,000 has access to electricity. And in communities like Bondo, this lack of power is putting lives at risk. There’s no access to medical treatment after dark, no fridges for storing life-saving vaccinations and long days spent collecting firewood mean there’s little time for education and work. Healthcare, education and livelihoods are all suffering.

But we can bring power to the people of Bondo, and give them a chance to change their lives, by building small-scale micro-hydro systems that harness rivers natural resources.

Micro-hydro power is the small-scale harnessing of energy from falling water, such as steep mountain rivers. The micro-hydro station converts the energy of flowing water into electricity, which provides poor communities in rural areas with an affordable, easy to maintain and long-term solution to their energy needs.

Using this renewable, indigenous, non-polluting resource, micro-hydro plants can generate power for homes, hospitals, schools and workshops.

We have developed micro-hydro systems with communities in Peru, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, and Kenya. These systems, which are designed to operate for a minimum of 20 years, are usually 'run-of-the-river' systems.

Read more about it on Practical Action's website