No Light

Load shedding is a familiar term in Nepal and it means shutting down of power (electricity) in particular areas of the city to reduce electricity usage. In Nepal, load shedding of electricity has a schedule and affects everyone living there. 

I came across this short Nepali animation which tells the story of Nepali people living with load shedding schedule in Nepal. I really can’t imagine my life without electricity up to 20 hours a day. But most Nepali people have no choice but go on with their normal life with a candle light or an oil lamp. 

It is normal in Nepal to have power outage for a few hours a day but in the summer months it goes up to 20 hours a day so you really have to do everything that requires electricity in 4 hours. If you are lucky, those 4 hours can be morning or evenings but if you are not, it may be in the middle of the night when you are sleeping or the middle of the day when you are at work. It is really a sad situation for a country which has so much hydro power generation capacity and at this stage, it only produce half the amount of electricity that the country needs. 

According to a report, Nepal can produce 40,000 MW of electricity from all its rivers but right now is only producing 600 MW (really sad situation). And only 40% of the country has electricity. And these 40% still have to live with load shedding. 

Political instability and power struggle has led the country backwards into darkness for a more than a decade now. Instead of using the money to invest in the country’s infrastructure, everyone who comes into power to run the government are busy buying new mansions for themselves, travelling overseas in luxury, with first class flights and hotels and making sure their children are sent to top universities in the world. 

Imagine your life without any electrical equipment like vacuum cleaner, refrigerator, microwave, kettle, toaster etc. Yes that is right, you might be scared thinking how you would mange a day without all this but in Nepal they have to go through this everyday. 

When I was in Nepal, the situation was not that bad but every time I go for a visit, I find that so many things are going backward instead of forward. There are more people in Kathmandu valley than the infrastructure can handle and it has made the valley chaotic and polluted.  I have no idea why the government is not doing anything when they know things are not working. It feels like if you have power and/or money, you can get away with anything there. 

In an attempt to make the government aware of the problems people are suffering, at one point they even had one of the television station broadcastings news using lanterns. 


Hydropower projects are the future of the country and I really hope there will be at least a few projects built to ease the situation of the people. And I hope politicians will make it easy for these project to be built because I know there were a few projects closed down because of the political situations. 

13 responses to “No Light

  1. When I was in the Philippines in 2010, there was a huge storm. Electricity was down for almost a week. That video you have here is soooo true. There seemes to be more mosquitos at night when lights were out. We also hang out at the malls the whole day for the airconditioning. ( The malls has their own power generator. ) It was really inconvenient. Coming from the US, it was quite a shock.

  2. Sometimes if we skyping, my Bj and me, he made a wake up call with his handy, because he has electricity in the night from 2 until 5 AM o clock.
    Thats so ungry. Right you wrote there are so many waterpower. Nepal is one of the most country whitch has so much water.

    I had read and heard Nepal sells electricity to India for a lot of money.
    A few of peoples earn so much money with that transferes, but most of Nepali peoples sitting in the darkness…….

    • Isn’t that annoying that people in Nepal have to make extra effort to have basic things worked out. It happens to me all the time as well when I Skype with my parents, out of nowhere they go offline and it will be load shedding again.
      I am sure there are few rich people in Nepal who benefits from all the dirty deals they make.

  3. So much potential, with the right leadership. In the long run, if they see to the needs of the people and country, everyone benefits.

    • So true nelle but as everywhere politics is dirty game in this country as well. Few people who wanted to change for better are voted off by the selfish one. Hope I can see good changes in my life time.

  4. It must be very inconvenient to suddenly have your electricity cut off for hours. I imagine it to be one of the reasons why it’s hard to move forward. Students would have to stop studying and people who depend on electricity for work would have to stop what they’re doing too.
    In the Philippines the electricity just goes out for a few hours because of the typhoon or some malfunction with the wires. It happens maybe once or twice in a month during the typhoon season. It’s awful. We just stare at each other in the dark at home. We light candles though but it’s still dark.

    I didn’t know about load shedding. Your post is very informative. Thanks!

    • Thanks janieblim. I know it is not common to have load shedding in major cities in the world but Nepal is different story altogether. The people who can make a difference are not interested in fixing things so people have to suffer.

  5. Just a eye opening video. We really are ignorant to real world problems. Glass towers and fancy lights don’t cover up nothing. Conserve electricity. Great post for awareness! 🙂

    • Thanks Tash. I agree that we are so ignorant that we whinge about our tiny problems. I feel sad that Nepal is in this state despite having so much potential to be better.

      • That is so true. But the very fact that they are putting up with it, day in and day out is not only commendable but just elevates the entire community and many other communities with such problems. It makes me feel so mechanic. I can’t think of one thing that will get through 10 mins of a day without electricity. It just made me realise that our “independence” is really completely and totally interdependent- that too on inanimate objects!

  6. Well done and very important post. Thanks for sharing this one. As I am typing I am wondering what it would be like to suddenly not have power for 20 hours. Hmm I guess I would get use to it, but it’s the unfairness, greed and corruption that is hard to get use to.

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