Loadshedding an Unspoken Crisis of Humanity

Dafeenah By Dafeenah, 3rd Mar 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/nktzqhr-/
Posted in Wikinut>News>World

A first hand glance glimpse of the impact load shedding has on those forced to suffer through it

What is Load Shedding?

Majority of people probably have absolutely no idea what load shedding is. If you are one of those people, then consider yourself fortunate. In today's age, when we can prolong death, operate on a fetus still in the womb, and send men into space the way some people go to McDonald's, you would think that the majority of the world has access to basic necessities such as electric, gas, and water. If you believe this, then you are very wrong.
Load shedding by definition is an intentionally-engineered electrical power outage. If you live in anywhere in the Subcontinent such as Pakistan, India, or Bangladesh, then you must live with load shedding, but what does that really mean for the people? How does an "intentionally-engineered electrical power outage" affect the daily lives of the people?

How does it affect the daily lives of the people?

It means that small business owners have to keep their shops open longer just to get in eight hours of work. While a retail clothing store in the UK or USA might be open from 8 am till 8 pm and be able to serve its customers continuously during those 12 hrs, a local retail clothing store in Pakistan would be open from 8 am till 10 pm and during those 14 hrs might be able to serve its customers a total of 8 hours if they are lucky or if they own some sort of generator.
Although having a generator is also no guarantee of electricity. Most generators run on petrol or natural gas. Majority of people cannot afford petrol for a vehicle let alone for their generator. Therefore they rely on natural gas to power the generator, but natural gas is also subject to load shedding. Even if the gas is on, then the pressure is so low that it isn't enough to get the generator started. If a UPS battery operated system is used, then the battery requires charging, but if the electric is not ever on how does one charge it? Also there is the additional cost of having to replace the battery yearly.
At its worst during summer months, the electric can be off for as much as 18-22 hours a day. At its best, the electric is off 4-6 hours a day. If the electric is off, then it also means the water is off. If you are not wealthy enough to install a water pump and above ground storage tank, then it means you have to keep buckets upon buckets filled with water just so you can do normal everyday tasks such as cooking dinner, taking a bath, or even quenching your thirst. This way if the electric suddenly or unexpectedly goes off you will at least have some water. While ordinarily the electric is off for an hour or two at a time, there are days where it is off 8-10 hours continuously. On those days, you will hear the sounds of women waking up early preparing the day's water, taking a shower, hurriedly getting the laundry done. It means that not everyone gets to shower every single day. You either take turns or carry water from the local hand pump that sits at the center of the village so that you don't run out of water. It also means that people die both young and old due to the high temperatures in the summer months. At its hottest temperatures in Pakistan can soar to well above 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit). Not only is it hot enough to "fry on an egg on the sidewalk", but you could cook an entire breakfast toast included.

Where does it occur?

If Pakistan was some poor third world country, then this would be understandable. However, Pakistan is a nuclear state. Its politicians are some of the richest in the world. Its people however are some of the poorest. Politicians are too worried about lining their own pockets and cannot be bothered with solving this crisis, and it is a crisis.
If the government does not do something and quickly, then there will come a time when its people will rise up against it. Not only do the people face enormous difficulties with load shedding, but food and gas prices are soaring. If the local cloth dealer has to pay double for sugar, then that means his prices also go up. Thus cloth becomes more expensive. If the cloth is more expensive, then the tailor will have to charge more, and the cycle continues on.
People are human and as humans, they can only bear so much. The governments of these countries have to address these issues because in reality there is no real excuse for not providing these basic necessities in today's advance technological state.

Final Outcome

Turn on the news and you will witness protests happening all around the world. In the summer of 2010, the Pakistani people protested just like the Egyptian people, and just like the Egyptians, Libyans, and Bahrainis, lives were lost, but unlike the Egyptians no real change occurred. This also did not make the news. If a news agency did cover it, then it was only a brief mention. Its true depth and importance were not explained. The government made promises and temporarily things got better, but no real change was implemented. Just empty promises to ease the uprising, but for how long will these empty promises keep the uprising at bay? It is only a matter of time before Pakistan implodes upon itself, and the only people who will truly suffer are the same ones who are suffering daily right now at this very moment as you sit reading this article.


Load Shedding, Pakistan, Political Corruption, Poverty

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author avatar Dafeenah
Freelance graphic designer specializing in book covers and ebook formatting

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author avatar Rathnashikamani
4th Mar 2011 (#)

Thank you, for such an informative article on Load Shedding.

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author avatar Denise O
5th Mar 2011 (#)

I am not so ignorant that I think all people have power, running water or even food to eat. It breaks my heart to no end they don't. I live in America and I have heard people complain and honestly I might have done it a few times in my life also that, a TV show was interupted because the power went out. You know what, how dare we, after readiing this, I will never ever complain if the power is out for one reason or another. Just awful for those living in pakistan. Nice writing, good cause and thank you for bringing it to our attention.:)

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author avatar Dafeenah
5th Mar 2011 (#)

I am like you, Denise. Before I moved to Pakistan, I had no idea what loadshedding was. I had never heard of it. Without experiencing it, it's true impact cannot be understood. Thanks for reading

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author avatar Humza
6th Mar 2011 (#)

Dafeenah very true power shortage is way a problem but still those who suffer from it the most are the poor ones becoz in poor areas the light goes out for like 8 to 10 hrs but in posch areas it goes out for 3 hrs a day so a majority suffers badly from the problem!
thnx alot for being the voice of pakistan!
I wud love to read u regarding inflation in pakistan as well
thnx alot for the share! and welcome to wikinut :)

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author avatar Dafeenah
6th Mar 2011 (#)

I am working on a article about that right now. I should have completed later today.

Thanks for the welcome!!

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