Electricity in Ethiopia: Power Outages, Rationing and its Consequences

electricity in Ethiopia

Ethiopian Electricity

To be fair, the country only recently in its long and illustrious history began to embark on developing its electrical grid intensively.

Having said this, we can take the initiative now to compare what recently happened in Japan with their power outage and what took place in Ethiopia.

The lights went out in Japan for only one day, but the following morning the man in charge of the country's electricity held a press conference.

He bowed solemnly to his countrymen and apologized for the blackout. He then took the initiative to punish himself for his wrong doing and resigned from his ministerial level post.

For us Ethiopians, this seems like a scene from a fictional novel or film.

Forget the resignation and the apology, even the mere publicly announced acknowledgment that something is amiss within our electrical grid is unheard of.

Power outages have just become a part of daily life and no one expects anyone to take responsibility simply due to the fact that we have become a society prone to complain rather than to take action.

This apathy in part has a lot to do with our culture of accepting things that seem impossible to change.

Leaving it to our maker has become the norm, while suffering in the meantime has become something to expect.

The recent changes in government have brought us a breath of fresh air when it comes to the stale secrecy, we are normally used to.

There have been several public announcements as to what the current problems are concerning the current blackouts. Ethiopia is heavily reliant on hydro power that is electricity generated using the countries water flows.

Recently, though, with the explosion of businesses and households heavily reliant on electricity coupled with the recent dry spell and heat, well that spells a recipe for disaster.

Sure enough, the many dams have had their levels lowered to a point that makes it difficult to generate enough electricity for the entire nation.

ethiopian electric

Ethiopia has officially cut or halved the transmission of electricity to its neighbors Djibouti and Sudan.

Furthermore, for two months, the country will go through power rationing. For example, if today you have electricity from 6 am till 1 pm then the next day you will have electricity from 1pm till 9 pm.

Even with the current rationing, keep in mind that everyone gets electricity every night after 9 pm.

There have been many complaints of businesses losing money, of people unable to continue their lives normally, and of the many accidents that take place during the nights of blackouts.

On the other hand, there have also been many people commenting on the fact that all these dark nights away from the television, social media, and so forth have brought their families closer.

Family members have begun to talk to each other unhindered as in the past before the invasion of the internet and media into households.

Family, friends, neighbors and so on are starting to really open their eyes and really notice those before them for the first time.

This closeness and intimacy is creating a dynamic that will have positive lifelong consequences.

It is a fact that in the past, when Germany was experiencing blackouts, there was a significant increase in the country's overall birth rate.

So until the rains do their job and fill up the country's dams or for what the government announced will go on for two months, Ethiopia will have her chance to experience life somewhat unhindered by the age of technology.

Even small generators being sold in Piassa around the old post office area, are selling small generators for as high as 50,000 ETB an unheard of amount.

In conclusion, there is no doubt in this authors mind that Ethiopia shall eventually rise to her potential as a power generating king and will not only supply herself but will have the ability to comfortably help her East African neighbors, as well.

In the meantime, we might as well change all our names to "mechale" or one who can handle anything.