In November 2017, GRID travelers installed a 1.2 kW off-grid solar system in Nepal's Chitwan National Park. The solar system powers the Dulekhola Tower, one of 11 observation towers located through the "buffer zone," a mile-wide area along the circumference of the national park that is a delicate balance of jungle and human settlement. Chitwan is Nepal’s first National Park, a refuge to the Bengal Tiger and home to one of the last populations of single-horned Asiatic rhinoceros, among many other species. GRID travelers will install a 1.2kW off-grid solar system to provide clean, reliable electricity to the tower.
Electricity transforms the tower into a safe space for travelers to view wildlife and stay overnight for a fee. The income from the towers in managed by local residents that are dedicated to wildlife and resource conservation, habitat restoration, women's empowermenet initiatives, and education programs. Dulekhola Tower is a safe place for travelers to stay while visiting Chitwan and observing the wildlife the park protects. The towers create job opportunities for local residents who support its operation. Income from travelers that stay at the towers supports a committee of protectors of Chitwan National Park and its wildlife.
GRID was proud to work with two women-led non-profit organizations on this project, Empowered By Light and Empower Generation, to benefit communities in the buffer zone and support local conservation efforts.
Click here to see more photos from this project.