Friday, August 5, 2011

Ramadan and power outages

First and foremost, seeing as how I have not had the chance to update my blog recently, I would like to wish everyone a Ramadan Kareem. I hope that this month brings you peace, even for non-Muslims reading this. I will be updating my blog throughout the month with a few Ramadan inspired threads, including a few traditional recipes simplified for all non-Egyptians to cook without hassle! Last Ramadan, I explored parts of Cairo through the eyes of a fasting Muslim; I hope to do the same this Ramadan in Hurghada.

That being said, on to tonight's blog. The power outages. >.<

I was already less than enthusiastic to return to the hot Egyptian summer, even less so when upon our arrival back to Hurghada we immediately start having serious problems with our electricity.

Photographed by Reuters

Living in Egypt, electrical outages are a norm. But they are usually resolved after 30 minutes or so later, with the occasional power outage lasting an hour or more - usually caused by idiots at the bottom of our road doing road works and "accidentally" cutting the electrical wires. I'm fairly convinced that Hurghada does not have any layout of the electrical grids and their lines, let alone the internet wires and their respective locations. Anyhow, I digress.

Today marked one of the worst power outages we've seen in Hurghada in a while. Made only worse by the two power outages last night, both conveniently falling around Iftar. This to add to the 1.5 hour power outage yesterday afternoon, and I'm thinking what the hell is going on?

Today, we lost power around 10 a.m. Let me remind you, with it being Friday most everyone is at home. With it being August, the temperatures are soaring to 42 degrees. Combine that with people who are fasting, and it becomes virtually impossible to survive the day without at least a fan, if not AC.

Our power was returned to us today, after a few brief pops, at close to 4 p.m. That's right, in the heat of the summer, and in the beginning of Ramadan to boot, combined with roughly 3 hours of power outages yesterday, we lost power for close to 6 hours!!! Turns out that one of the MAIN power lines leading into Hurghada was cut today by...get oil rig, roughly 60 km away from Hurghada near Safaga. Why does this not surprise me.

With it being Friday, of course the central electrical office was closed. By about 1:30 p.m. outside my house, as people were trickling back from their Friday prayers, you could tell tempers were flaring. I assume most people weren't up at 10 a.m. on a Friday in Ramadan, so therefore did not realise just how long the power was out, and presumed upon returning from prayers it would be back.  

My next question is, how many fridges full of food were spoiled today. I barely opened the fridge, leading K to call me the fridge nazi, but I am NOT about to let over 100 dollars of fresh groceries spoil because some genius cut the main power wire. Eechs. So my area in Hurghada joined a number of others without power.

Evidently it is not Hurghada that is experiencing power shortages, as Al-Masry Al-Yawm points out. I have previously written a blog about the increased strain on Egypt's power grid during the summer, as more and more people are installing ACs into their homes.

It's not surprising we're seeing these power outages. The Electricity Ministry should be ashamed of themselves for allowing such shortages to happen during the one time of year where everybody needs all the help they can get to survive fasting in this heat. It's time to man up, and begin improving the badly plagued electrical circuits in Egypt, before providing power becomes nigh on impossible. One can dream right?

No comments:

Post a Comment