Local News

Sana’a In The Dark For The Seventh Day

National Yemen

charging Mobile Phones In Yemen

Asma al-Mohattwari

“I am watching my mobile phone in its charger, like a mother watches her son as he grows up,” Fuad says of his fifth day without electricity. His friend Ashraf replies to Fuad’s comment: “I ask Allah give you health and the long age to see it reach 100%.”

For seven consecutive days, the Yemeni capital of Sana’a and other major cities in Yemen are living in dark caused by Saudi-led Arab Coalition aircraft that have targeted the country’s power transmission lines.

Decisive Storm’s Operation entered its twenty-fourth day on Saturday, in an operation that has thrown Yemen’s citizens into deprivation of many of the basic requirements of life. Most economic activity has stopped; citizens suffer from lack of food and petroleum, and electricity is becoming a distant memory.

The funny thing is that Yemenis have stopped thinking of anything except how to charge their phones. Ahmed, a Yemeni citizen, said that phones are the only way to know the learn news about the country and to enquire about relatives in other cities.

Ahmed charges his phone in a carpentry shop near to his home. “I only charge it [in the carpentry shop] one day per week; the other days I charge it in a shop selling drinking water; I pay 50 Riyals per hour.”

Sana’a, Yemen’s capital, and other major cities have been plunged into darkness. Aden in the south is also without electricity. The Saudi bombing of diesel depots and interference in oil delivery has left people without the ability to run back-up generators.

The cutoff of a Marib power station led to power cuts for Sana’a and other provinces, but the Ministry of Electricity has mitigated the impact on the capital by reallocating power loads. Stations with diesel needed to provide the country with power run for only one hour each day; meanwhile, the government warns citizens not to use water heaters, refrigerators, or washing machines. Unfortunately, these measures are only temporary: these two stations will also stop in a few days when they exhaust the diesel fuel needed to run them.