Power outages: Yemen’s candles in the dark [Archives:2002/51/Reportage]

December 16 2002

By Hassan Azzaidi
Yemen Times Staff
Writing this time will be apart from politics. Due to lack of electricity, we can’t even watch TV through which we find what’s going on the world.
Actually I was deprived of watching the TV when the electricity was cut suddenly, leading to the breaking down of the TV and some other electrical apparatuses in my home.
In fact, the troublesome policy of “turning of/on” was very dominant since the capital Sana’a has used electricity. Most of the people, except those who have generators at home, are very annoyed.
It is very common that people need to turn around night and day in Ramadhan. Subsequently, people become very active at night from 7:00 PM till the dawn. Electricity is of urgent necessity for them.
The disconnection of electricity in markets has caused even more annoyance than at houses.
You can only hear cries of children among the darkness and the women experience harassment in the dark streets as the electricity disconnects.
I do inquire, do our officials feel satisfied on this miserable situation? Is it really a big problem which could not be solved over the last decades?
The public now suspects that the officials in the ministry of electricity are in league with candles traders who wants electricity to be disconnected to have more profits as the demand on candles will be increased.
Yemen may one of the countries with the largest population of consuming candles as some like to comment that “Yemen is like the candle which burns to give light to others.” One could not decide whether it’s a false or right statement due to the electrical disconnections which the state could not handle, in spite of the expensive bills the people receive monthly against the services which forced me to buy a new TV and refrigerator.
Who will compensate the poor citizen who has no money to replace these damaged apparatuses? God help us.