Private sector needs to helpLack of power hurts rural Yemen [Archives:2004/714/Business & Economy]

February 23 2004

By Mahyoub al-Kamali
Yemen Times Staff

Official sources have estimated the proportion of those deprived of electric power in Yemen at around 62% of the entire people of 18 million and most of this proportion lives in mountainous villages and remote rugged areas distributed over all the governorates.
A report by the ministry of electricity mentions that the number of villages that electricity services have not reached them up to now is estimated at 100,000 and this impedes social and economic development in the Yemeni countryside and redoubles the proportion of people migration from the countryside to the cities.
The ministry confirmed that most part of this problem needs large amounts of funding in case the remote villages were to be connected to the existing electric networks or those under construction. Therefore the ministry of electricity is preparing a national plan for extending power service to the Yemeni countryside within a strategy for providing power to the countryside.
The state plan for fighting poverty in the Yemeni countryside includes involvement of local and international establishments and organizations in adopting programs and projects including provision of support for sustainable power.
The ministry is encouraging the private sector to invest in alternative projects such as the renewable energy among which the solar energy and winds and the ministry has embarked on appropriation of annual allocations for beginning with the new and renewable energy in the frame of the general project expected to be financed by the German government and contribution of the UN Development Program.
The Solar company has lately opened in Sana'a a factory for making solar-powered heaters which would help provide solar system heating appliances and to protect the environment through dispensing with burning organic materials and oils for generating electric power.
Studies have confirmed the avail of depending on technology of the new and renewable power for reducing the pressure on electric power generating stations and for extending electric power services to the remote areas in all Yemeni governorates.