Its been 48 hours since we had any electricity and almost 24 hours since my backup is exhausted. Complaints have been made to concerned authorities, bills have been paid to have the electricity board come and repair the problem. I call the concerned office today and a lady, very kindly explains to me that yes, she remembers the old man (the house owner) who came to pay the bill and it must be difficult for them… BUT “you know our teams are very busy with transformers catching fire and are not able to resolve individual house issues yet. I am really sorry, I hope they will come by the end of the day today, otherwise tomorrow.” I said Thank you politely and hung up.
What do I say, I know it’s true, transformers are catching fire all over the city because every household that could afford it in Kathmandu has procured an electric hot plate or some other electric means to cook. We have had gas and fuel shortage for months, the only thing we have is 4-6 hours of electricity in the day and the sunlight. Since we can’t all afford to suddenly get solar panels to back up batteries, we use electricity while we have it. The whole city and the whole country doing that means that the consumption of electricity is way more than Nepal can afford. This could mean that there will be longer power cuts… But then how will people survive, without electricity, gas and petrol. If we all starting using wood, we will destroy so many trees. For how long? What do we do?
And this is us, the most priveleged (except a tiny minority of even more privileged, like diplomats and such) of Kathmandu, if we are struggling with everyday necessities, how do we focus on the bigger issues for the development of the country, for its rebuilding after the earthquakes last year. And what about the thousands who still live in temporary shelters and camps, or those who live in the slums and do not have regular jobs anymore because there is no more fuel to run factories or no more raw material to build (anything!). What about them? What is a day in their life like now? Questions I can’t seem to stop asking myself, while doing nothing at all about it!