Power blackouts hit Yemen’s Aden amid burning temperatures


Frequent power outages started to hit Yemen’s southern port city of Aden in recent days, leading to a partial paralyze of people’s daily life activities and works.

Ordinary people in Aden see the power outages as a nightmare that turns their sleepless nights to an endless suffering because of summer heat.

In recent weeks, six hours without power outages are considered as a dream for most people in order to confront the scorching temperature in Aden, the temporary capital of Yemen.

“We spend our nights without sleeping waiting for the electricity to be turned on again. It’s unbearable,” said Isa Qaid, a resident in the Tawahi district of Aden.

The work proficiency in the government institutions is sharply reduced as a result of the recent power outages and interruptions that prevent the employees from completing their tasks.

“Aden is a city that needs electricity 24 hours a day not three hours on and four hours off. This is exhausting and not beneficial,” said Abu Yusif, an employee at Aden’s culture office.

“Our works mainly depend on electricity and nothing will be achieved without it. It’s very necessary and essential to perform our duties properly,” he said.

Officials at the local government of Aden said that the deficiency in power supply and the old electricity infrastructure are causing frequent cuts everyday.

“Some people are stealing electricity and the supervision of the government is either weak or absent,” said Saleh Bader, an owner of a supermarket in Aden’s neighborhood of KhorMaksar.
“The widespread theft of electricity is increasing day after day and has become a national hobby for the majority in this city,” he added.

The hours-long power cuts have become part of everyday life for the people, including the university students in Aden and other neighboring southern provinces controlled by the internationally-backed government.

“We used to live in darkness and permanent crises in Aden since 2011. No solutions will be made for electricity sector,” said Sama Walid, a female student at Aden’s University.

“Some of Aden’s faculties have no power generators and students have to leave their professor’s lectures during the time of power outages,” Sama said.

She added that “the majority of the students lose concentration during the lectures and get low marks in quizzes because they don’t get adequate sleeping hours overnight.”

With temperatures reaching up to 34 degrees, the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and its allies made no measures to reduce the serious problem of power outages, according to local residents.
The neighboring Gulf countries particularly the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have strong presence and influence in Aden and promised to provide the city with a power station.

“Our UAE partners helped us in many things militarily and economically but there is corruption inside the Yemeni institutions,” said Rashid bin Hamid, a worker at Aden’s Oil Refinery.

“Most of the government officials care only about themselves and provide their residential buildings with cooling methods by using high-quality generators to avoid the summer heat,” Rashid said.

This summer, expectations that Aden is going to witness the longest power outages that will plunge the city into darkness for an unprecedented number of times due to lack of maintenance for the old electricity power stations.

Most of neighborhoods in Aden have regular power cuts every three to four hours, causing anger among people who called for demonstrations against the government.

The southern port city of Aden is considered as Yemen’s temporary capital and the Saudi-backed Yemeni government based itself there since 2015.

The impoverished Arab country has been locked into a civil war since the Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels overran much of the country militarily and seized all northern provinces, including capital Sanaa, in 2014.

Saudi Arabia leads an Arab military coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 to support the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after Iran-backed Houthi rebels forced him into exile.

By Murad Abdu

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