When Electricity Turns into a Tool of Death [Archives:2001/32/Focus]

August 6 2001

Imad Al-Saqqaf
One of the significant achievements of the Yemeni revolution is the introduction of electricity, but unfortunately up to this very moment most small towns and villages still lack this basic necessity. In cities, electricity has become more harmful than useful. As the old electricity stations have become unable to supply the cities with sufficient power, particularly during the summer season in the hot cities as the demand for electricity grow. Thus, the Electricity Corporation restored to blackout the major cities for two to three hours a day. This act has caused lots of problems for the subscribers starting with students who have been deprived from studying as unfortunately the final university exams and the high school exams as well coincide with the summer season. On the other hand, many of the electrical appliances are subjected and some times get damaged and this is an issue of major concern since the majority of the Yemeni families can not afford the purchase of new ones. Furthermore, electricity is behind different fire accidents the last of which is the fire took place at the Yemenia Airlines building in the last couple of months.
The Electricity Corporation attributes the causes of these frequent blackouts to the weakness of the power plants and bad condition of the electricity network while the citizens attribute them to the willingness of the government to make the people feel the importance of electricity and to know the difference between the darkness of the Imamate rule and light brought the revolution. Some people say that the Electricity Corporation has stroked a deal with the candles importers with the aim of raising the demand for this product. The deal between the two parties stipulates that the first party (the Electricity Corporation) is to frequently blackout the major cities so as to give chance for the second party to sell large quantities of stockpiled candles.
Electricity in Yemen has become a curse even on the poor who make of streets as their homes and what happened to Ali Yahya Hamid in Taiz when he was shocked by an exposed electrical wire is just an illustrative example of the negligence and non-care of the safety of the citizens in the part of the Electricity Corporation. This accident is not the only of its type since we have been hearing a lot about such accidents which seem never to cease.
The future is dark for a nation in which its citizens die as a result of its revolution’s gains and in which electricity change from a means for lighting to a means for killing.