MY BEIRUT / random thoughts

Beirut & power cuts

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I was born in Lebanon in 1970. War in Beirut started in 1975. Since then, Lebanese citizens have not received around the clock electricity.

My earliest memory would be walking up 9 floors every day after school with a very heavy school bag, studying at the light of a candle, watching black and white  TV on selected days, depending on power cuts, and finally having my dad buy a huge battery placed on the balcony, permitting us to turn one light, the fridge and if we were lucky the TV.

How many times did my mother throw perished food from the fridge.How many times did we heat water on the stove for our baths. How many times did we get stuck in the elevator, hoping that someone in the building would hear us and free us from the morbid box.

I used to think that it was due to the war, but now, 20 years of “non-war”, our electricity situation is even worse. We pay two bills, one for the state, the other for local private crooks, selling us few hours of generated electricity at the same cost than our monthly bill. Not later than a week ago, I was stuck in the elevator because of power cut. Many areas outside of Beirut have sometimes 2-3 hours of electricity a day! Skyping for business can get tedious and ridiculous because of power cuts. And the list goes on indefinitely.

It beats me that people in this country are not making revolution because of that. It beats me that we go on year after year without any concrete solution. It beats me that the constantly newly elected government do not solve this BASIC Right once and for all.

The problem is complex, but not impossible to solve.

And we are still waiting…

Meanwhile, there is plan (supposedly!).. read the article from the daily star… but no will.

6 thoughts on “Beirut & power cuts

  1. I remember seeing on the news a few weeks ago an investigation about the electricity cuts. They were showing images of areas in Lebanon where children were studying by candle light. Could you imagine that its 2012 and young children still have to study by candlelight?

    I still don’t understand how politicians and ministries still use the war as an excuse when its been more than 20 years since the war has ended. Thanks for the post LeeLou.

    • thank you! I don’t get it either.. can someone please explain to me what is keeping the politicians from creating a better Lebanon? also, why do we let some people become billionaires from selling generated electricity at exorbitant prices?

  2. Yes there is a real lack of electricity here, surely.

    Four articles from the daily star concerning the Danish initiative/surgestion on how to add wind power to the sollution to the lebanese power problem:

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Local-News/2012/Feb-02/161898-north-lebanon-can-generate-140-mw-of-wind-power-say-experts.ashx#axzz1mYgmCWpP

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/2012/Feb-01/161816-wind-generated-electricity-from-akkar-in-13-months-danish-experts.ashx#axzz1mYgmCWpP

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Business/Lebanon/2012/Jan-31/161634-ministers-set-to-debate-bassils-electricity-plan.ashx#axzz1mYgmCWpP

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/2012/Jan-30/161563-danish-envoy-mikati-discuss-power-alternatives.ashx#axzz1mYgmCWpP

    I SO vote for that sollution! Wind power!! yes please! …and then start working on water and solar power after that! there is so much water flowing in the lebanese rivers and sooooo much sun here that I just wanna cry, when I think of the waste of those fantastic ressources, and how grately we are in need!

    …but like you said…there need to be will!…and I would surely prefer a green sollution, PLEASE🙂 but a sollution is needed🙂

    • Dear Mette! you are so right! SO many resources in this country and we are not taking advantage of any! the sun alone could fuse so much energy on a daily basis! Thank you for your links! i will sure read them and learn more about those great initiatives!

  3. This brings back so many memories, reading by candle light and my mother telling me its going to ruin my eyes, and it did! And bathtime, what a hassle bringing in the kettles from the kitchen, and that is IF we had water in the first place! But it doesnt stop here, what about street lights? kids are dying people!! im always scared for my kids coming down from balamand uni and there is not even a ramp on the road. This is too much! And we ask our government? What government!!!! It is sad to say, but i lack faith in this country where even our civil rights are not protected. They are more interested in building their touristic attractions than bother with the basics…Sad.

  4. This week, when the sun was out, it heated out solarsystem enough for us to have 300 L hot water for showers ect….and we are in february:) in a month or so it will be sunshine all the way baby;) imagine if all households were sunpowered most of the year…sigh…that would be so great!
    …and I wish that the danish could lend a hand getting this heavy train moving, and preferbly in the right direction:)
    Enjoy reading the articles🙂 and lets enjoy dreaming too:)…Ill keep my fingers crossed!

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