Chambamontera micro hydro scheme

Country: Peru
Date: December 2007 – August 2008
Project manager:  Celso Davila


Chambamontera is an isolated community in the highlands of the Cajamarca area of Peru.  It is more than two hours drive from Jaén, the nearest town. Livelihoods in the area are mainly dependent on growing coffee and rearing livestock and development is severely restricted by lack of access to energy.

Practical Action held consultation meetings with the community and worked together to develop a micro-hydro scheme capable of producing 15 kW of power.   The The benefits of micro-hydro schemes for isolated communities are significant and include:

  • It provides a source of energy which is renewable and ‘fuel-free’
  • Long system lifetime, typically 25 years or more
  • Electricity is available when people need it most (more hydro energy is available in winter when heating demands are high)
  • Low maintenance requirements and running costs
  • Little environmental impact during installation

The community is contributing both labour and materials to the scheme and an association has been formed to allow the community to access credit to pay for the installation.

Construction began in September 2008. When it is complete, 60 families in the area will have life-changing access to energy to light their homes, school and health centre. Several new businesses are planned which will generate the income to transform the lives of the people of Chambamontera.

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