Power outages and irregular supply in Kabul are now a serious problem, completely disrupting people’s lives on a daily basis. In some areas, people do not have power for even an hour in the day. Now that people’s lives are tied to electricity, power outages for long hours create many problems in their lives. These problems range from homes left in the dark and reduced water supply to the closure of companies and government-affiliated offices.
Brishna, the company responsible for supplying electricity, does not resolve power supply problems in advance. The company is not even willing to provide information on the problems until complaints by consumers become reach a deafening pitch. People need this information so they can adjust their day-to-day lives accordingly.
Unfortunately, there are no alternative sources of electricity generation on days when imported power is cut off. Brishna’s statistics on the amount of thermal power generated in Kabul need serious verification. This figures the provide may be imaginary. If this is not the case, then how is it that some areas do not have power for even an hour a day?
Another reason that for the lack of electricity in some areas for even an hour a day is the injustice in electricity distribution. In some areas where high-ranking government officials, members of parliament, former jihadi commanders, or wealthy people usually live, power outages are rare. But in slums and less aristocratic areas, the electricity supply is low and thus rotated among areas, with individual areas having to endure long waits before getting their turn to receive power. Brishna must end this discriminatory service, which is a violation of justice and an added torment of an already oppressed people.
Electricity should not be used as a political tool for personal gain. At times of reduced demand for imported electricity, most of the available electricity should not be given to the homes of those who can take decisions with a direct impact on the fate of Brishna officials. It is better to keep them in the dark overnight so that they understand what people experience and what their problems are. With continuous power supply, however, they will never know that Kabul is in darkness and that people have no water due to the lack of electricity, with the resulting disruption of their livelihoods.
Perhaps it was because of these services to powerful people and false reports that President had once claimed that Afghanistan would be self-sufficient in electricity within three or four years. Not just that, but that it would eventually export electricity to neighboring countries. But when we look at the situation and see Brishna’s inability to supply electricity, we realize how miserable we are. We are always lied to and we accept it.
If your heart aches for the people and your goal is to serve them, why not keep your promises? How long should a neighbor’s house be without electricity? Why don’t you generate electricity from Afghanistan’s own solar, wind, and water sources? You said that government offices in Kabul would be equipped with solar power, so why has this not been done yet? Evaluating this situation, it is clear that the goal is anything but to honestly serve the people.
Any responsible government should think about improving the situation and bettering services. Kabul goes dark every winter. The situation in other provinces is not good either in all seasons. After each outage, those in charge absolve themselves from responsibility by announcing that a neighboring country has stopped power supply or that they no longer want to export electricity, while it is the government’s responsibility to provide electricity uninterruptedly to the people. If the neighboring country does not have electricity, other measures should be considered. It does not make sense for people to live in darkness every year while the authorities fail to solve this issue.
It has been repeatedly stated that some government departments and officials have not paid their debts to Brishna. Why is their power supply not cut off? The company is dishonoring its responsibility to serve the people, thereby deceiving the whole nation. If there is a will to serve the people, and if there is a plan for self-sufficiency in the field of electricity, abuse and misuse must be stopped and debtors must be treated in the light of the law.
In general, the situation in the country’s electricity sector is not good. The current frequent and widespread power outages show that the government’s approach in recent years has been wrong. If there is even a glimmer of understanding among those in charge, they need to change the way they supply power to the people. Otherwise, in the winter every year you have to live in the dark or use pre-electric appliances to light up houses. It is not just a matter of lighting the houses, people need regular electricity in all their daily activities, especially their economic activities. This need, however, will not be met by the current disorganized supply of power and gifts from kind-hearted neighbors.