Experiences of an American woman who was married to a Serb.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Power in Nepal

The government just announced our routine power cuts of 11 hours per household per week will go up to 15 hours per week because rivers are low of water. I'm well used to the cuts now, and schedule my day around them... getting up early to start work, then taking a break when the lights go around 7pm for a couple of hours. It's rather romantic to run about my room lighting candles. But, probably less so for people who live here full time.

The TV stations must have a hard time selling ads with routine cuts during primetime. However the petrol industry is happy because rich people and businesses run on diesel generators when the power grip goes down.

The whole rivers running dryer thing though makes me wonder. Nepal is the water-source for much of India. Water is to Nepal like Oil is to Russia. Or it would be if Russia were puny, poor, and stuck between two megapowers. In the 22nd century water is going to equal power.

In the meantime my husband called me from trekking in the hills outside Jomsom last night after three days failure to get through. The problem? Cell phone reception is nonexistent where he is, and the only landline is powered by solar energy, which for reasons best understood to Nepali engineers only functions at reasonable power around 2:30pm in the afternoons.

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