It is hard to believe that there are still places in the United States that have been living without electricity.
This all changed for the some families living across the 27,000 square mile Navajo reservation which extends across Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. Electricity is a basic necessity for most people today, but it is a great luxury across the Navajo Nation. Getting electricity has made life tremendously easier for Margie and Alvin Tso. The couple has raised eight children in the LeChee area of the Navajo nation without running power through their homes. Having no power in their home meant Margie had to work harder to do everyday things around her home. These tasks included washing clothes in a tub with a washboard and cooking their meals on a wood stove. The kids did their homework with a gas lamp and did not have a television. Their children “grew up a little bit on the rough side, and so did we along with them,” Margie Tso told The Associated Press. “But we made it through, and now we’re going to enjoy these lights.”
Deenise Becenti , a spokeswoman for the Navajo Tribe Authority, stated an estimated 15,000 homes still do not have electricity across the Navajo Nation. A portion of the Navajos left without electricity have chosen to maintain a traditional lifestyle without it. Other families live miles apart, making it too expensive to connect to other homes.
The project in LeChee resulted from a mix of funding from federal grants, the tribal utility authority, and the owners of the Navajo Generating Station run by the Salt River Project. The $4.8 million project that began in 2012 with a goal of connecting 63 homes is scheduled to be completed next year.
– Ally Engel