By Libya Herald reporter.
Tripoli, 15 February 2015:
The electricity shortage in the capital appears to worsening, with daily rolling power cuts now . . .[restrict]lasting eight hours in most areas, fuelling a growing sense of frustration among Tripoli residents.
Although people expect daily outages, there does not appear to be any structure to the cuts, which occur at any time of day or night.
“It’s almost paralysing,” Ben Ashour resident Fatima said. “It is impossible to plan anything because you never know if you’re going to have electricity. Even meals have become a nightmare to prepare.”
Offices, shops and homes in almost districts are now affected. Many shops and cafes have invested in generators to sustain their businesses but, at night, some smaller shops and stalls are illuminated by candlelight. During long outages, even those with generators pull down their shutters with resignation and head for home, where there may or may not be electricity.
A shopkeeper in Fashloom apologised to customers waiting to pay for goods in his darkened store while he rummaged around in the gloom, trying to fix electric cables. “I’m expecting the power back soon but there is sometimes a big electrical surge which damages the refrigerator units.”
Several months of daily power cuts now seem to be having a knock-on effect on internet connectivity. Customers using ADSL – once Libya’s most reliable form of internet – complain that there is no signal for days on end and, when it works, it does so only sporadically.
WiMax, which much of the country relies upon for internet access, is also increasingly unreliable. Even portable devices are now often unable to pick up a decent signal and a simple upload of even a small file routinely takes hours to accomplish.
Resilient local residents make the most of electricity when they have it, charging appliances and devices in preparation for the next cut. However, with the situation seemingly worse with each passing day, many say it is pushing their patience to its limit.
“You sometimes waste whole days chasing around looking for either a power supply or functioning internet, whether from home, the office or cafes,” student and pat-time Musbah said. “It is just so frustrating.” [/restrict]