Bangladesh Adventures

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Continuous Rolling Black outs

Electricity is on its way out in Bangladesh. Last spring was the worst I have experienced in Bangladesh with the electricity turning off. It averaged two to three times a day for an hour each time. However, its beginning to be obnoxious now. So far in August and September its averaging 4 to 6 times a day for an hour to three hours each time. The boys are fed up, as also most Bangladeshi are. You can pretty much count on the electricity going out every evening when you sit down for supper or when you want to play a game. Of course without any fan going it gets hot. So we are taking more showers because of sweating so much. In August we tried to get by with candles but they made you hot so we have invested in a 24 inch rechargeable automatic light-up tube light that has a four hour duration time on its battery. We only have one in the living room but it makes a big difference.

The current government decided 8 years ago that it didn’t need to invest in new power plants. Well, talk about short sightedness- now there is a huge deficit in power, which the present or future government may never be able to catch up. The problem is the government does not want to spend foreign currency on paying a foreign company to produce electricity in Bangladesh. I believe that the reason the government doesn’t want to use foreign (hard) currency on power plants or anything else that would help the regular citizen is that the government is to busy putting all the hard currency they can get their hands on in their own foreign bank accounts. Before you say that I’m just a electricity starved foreigner- remember that for five years running Bangladesh has been rated number ONE in the world for corruption by Transparency International.

Some apartment buildings have big generators but to the boys chagrin our does not. So as you sit in your house filled with electric light think of 150 million Bangladeshi and some of us foreigners sitting in the dark. The only positive think about the continuous rolling blackouts is that every time the electricity comes back on we all say, “Halleluiah!”

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