By Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA'A: March 26, 2012- Over more than a year of protests and consequent political crisis in the Arabian Peninsula millions of Yemeni people all over the country badly suffered of continued cutting electricity power of up to more than 20 hours a day.
During that time Yemeni government continued promising its citizens of completely solving the situation. However, the ongoing lack of electricity provoked anger among Yemenis who lost their confidence in the government after repeated, failed promises that the situation it would be resolved.
Yemenis have to contend with power cuts that have become a daily occurrence since the protests. "I became familiar with this situation, after more than a year of cutting power," a resident living in the Yemeni capital Sana'a told Bikyamasr.com.
Last month Yemeni Electricity Ministry, Saleh Somea announced the fixing up of Marib’s Gas-Powered Generation Center after being shut down for more than five months.
Actually, Yemenis enjoy from three to four days of electricity, but suddenly all Yemenis surprised of the power off since that time. '' We enjoy hours of electricity nowadays but I still afraid of being in the darkness again," Ahmed Senan said.
Last year, Yemeni government blamed power outages in Sana'a on attacks mounted by anti-Saleh tribesmen against electricity grids. But the opposition accuses the government of deliberately disrupting electricity supplies to distort the image of anti-Saleh forces.
"Despite the trade accusations between Yemeni government and the opposition, citizens are only the ones who suffer the absence of electricity. Most of the government and the opposition leaders or officials have their own generators, thus they don't suffer the same problem," Hamdan Raheem commented.
Last week, local newspaper reported that that the manager of the Marib Gas Power Station, Abdul-Rahman Fatahi, was relieved from his duties of running the station affairs.
"Fatahi was sacked from his position as the manager of the Marib Electricity station, the biggest power station in the country, and his deputy, Mohammed Sabolan, was appointed to replace him, the newspaper said.
The decision came one day after the supply lines were targeted yet again that the station had to completely halt its operation, leaving thousands of households in the Yemeni capital of Sana'a deal with the inconvenience caused by the lengthy power outages.
Even with replacing another manger the problem is continued, on Friday morning Yemeni government said that the electricity towers in Marib province were attacked by tribesmen belonging to Al Shabwan tribe. Despite the interference of Yemeni army and entering in clashes with tribesmen to handle the lack of electricity and returning the power to Yemeni cities the problem is continued.
Yemenis solve the problem
Over the past year, Yemenis who could afford generators spent thousands of rials buying fuel to power their homes. And despite the power cuts, Yemenis continued to receive high electricity bills.
Despite the attempt by Yemenis to solve their problem in their manners, they still facing different kinds of obstacles besides.
As a part of their solution, many people have bought electricity generators to get power, however they face a shortage of diesel or oil.
"I have bought an electricity generator so that I can do my job," Mohammed Hatem said. But he is facing another problem: a shortage of diesel fuel necessary for operating his generator.
“Diesel is not available in Sana'a. I have to go outside the capital to get it at prices, which are at least twice as high as before,” he added.
''Before the eruption of the anti-Saleh uprising the electricity supply was erratic but not as bad as it is now,'' a residents in Sana'a said.
Yemenis lost their jobs
Many people lost their jobs because of the problem of the electricity. "I closed my own workshop; I couldn’t pay my workers, I couldn't meet orders from my customers as well," said Fateh Hamir, who runs a smith workshop in Taiz.
A worker in a factory in Yemen's eastern province of Hodeida said that his boss fired him along with others. "Our boss fired us because he couldn't pay our salaries."
In the capital Sana'a, Rodha Mohssen, a dressmaker told bikyamasr.com that she stopped receiving new orders, she cannot obligate with the customers.
Several businesses were shut up due to the same problem.
The residents of the Yemeni capital showed their satisfaction with the firm step taken by the leadership to track and pursue those responsible for targeting the basic services that they direly need.
The recent attack took out Marib electricity plant out of the system causing the loss of 400 Megawatt of power in addition to financial damage. The station feeds about 60 percent of Yemen's cities.
Last month, the Ministry of Electricity released a report on the difficulties it is facing.
It indicated that Yemen's General Electricity Corporation has been suffering financial problems since the Gas-powered Generation Station in Marib shut down five months ago.
The Minister of Electricity promised to solve Yemen’s power cuts in December but continued attacks made this impossible.
In February, the cabinet ordered the Ministries of Interior, Defense and Electricity to repair damaged power supply towers and protect both the towers and stations from any further attacks.
The cabinet said that any attacks were seen as banditry, ordering the Ministers of Interior and Defense to take strict legal action against those involved.
As usual I'm doing my work while the electricity is off, I depend on the electricity generator but it costs me a lot of money.