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.