By: Tahani al-Sabri
Dr. Najeebeh Haddad, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Culture, along with the Goodwill Ambassador for Health and Human Rights in Yemen Rabea Shaker al-Mahdi, launched a special event protesting Yemen’s power outages in Aden on Wednesday. In the presence of media correspondents, academic figures, youth, women, and a number of Yemeni citizens, members of the event lit the world’s largest candle, weighing over a ton and winning itself entry in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Rabea al-Mahdi said that event—in which Yemenis illuminated the largest candle in the world—symbolized a civil resistance to the suffering of Yemenis throughout the country at the hands of Yemen’s regular power outages.
In the arena, tens of thousands of white candles were collected and melted together in a mold to create a massive single white candle. This icon was intended to deliver a message of hope for all Yemenis suffering from frequent electricity outages, which has led to the death of hundreds of patients with renal failure and other citizens as well. The outages have stymied development projects across Yemen, and turned the country into the largest consumer of candles in the world.
Saleh Someaa, the Minster of the Electricity in Yemen, recently declared that, “the capacity of producing power in Yemen does not exceed 900 MW per an hour. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia produces approximately 53 thousand MW, while Jordan and Morocco produce 3000 thousand MW per hour. Those countries are considered poor in natural resources.
“Now, Yemen needs 4- 5 thousand MW of power per hour. And the government spends more than $1,200,000 in annual support for allocated fuel power generation. 60% of the Yemeni countryside goes without electricity, and Yemeni institutions currently have succeeded in bringing electricity into the districts provinces of Taiz, Amran, Mahaweet and Marib. The provision of electrical power in Yemen is a big problem, as the Republic suffers from a difference between the amount of electricity produced and the amount demanded, which turn leads the Public Electricity Corporation to try to distribute this deficit across the population by cycling power supply to the residences in Yemeni cities on a daily and hourly basis.”
A spokesman for the Ministry of Electricity, Sadeq al- Rohani, stated that, “the increased power needs from the network, with the increasing demand for energy, has caused power cuts on the national network in several areas on a regular basis.
“The network has collapsed because of the attacks on the towers and electrical power lines. Furthermore, power plants are no longer viable.
“The solution to this problem must follow a decision from the supreme state authorities, and that must require the creation of a new electric grid, including power plants.”
China called on Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in an official letter delivered by the Chinese ambassador in Sana’a on Sunday 20 October to sign bilateral agreements focusing mainly on improving the electrical system in Yemen.
According to the government news agency, Hadi’s planned visit to Beijing will include the signing of a number of agreements on strategic projects to strengthen infrastructure in Yemen. This may help to solve some of Yemen’s electricity problems and put an end the suffering of its citizens.