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Lighting is often the first use of electricity in a developing country like Nepal. Although Nepal is rich in hydropower, due to various constraints the rural sector of Nepal is still deprived of a national electrical grid. The Humla communities belong to the1.6–2 billion people worldwide without grid connections.


Figure 1: 'Jharro' production kills the trees slowly
Figure 2: 'Jharro' the only means to generate light at home. Strong, black smoke, soot and a very dim light is the output

In Humla, all families traditionally use jharro to light indoor living spaces. Jharro is a resin rich oden stick from the high elevation Himalayan pine tree whose flame provides smoky but minimally adequate indoor lighting.  Jharro is gathered by inducing a deep cut on the soft pine tree, forcing it to produce resin in order to cure the wound. This resin-rich layer of wood is cut away after a week and chips of this wood are burned to generate light.

Figure 3: Old woman using 'Jharro' for light
Figure 4: 'Jharro' with open stove aids the chances of diseases

Since 2002, RIDS-Nepal is providing various, for the local context designed, solutions for elementary rural village electrification in Humla. Thus far, RIDS-Nepal has developed, and is implementing, projects in three fields of Renewable Energy Technologies. These are: