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Lebanon Power Crisis Threatens Communications, Health Sector

Lebanon Power Crisis Threatens Communications, Health Sector

Tuesday, 7 July, 2020 - 10:45
A woman walks outside a building of a Lebanon's electricity company in Beirut, Lebanon May 20, 2020. (Reuters)
Beirut - Inas Sherri

For the third week in a row, Lebanon has been going through a severe power crisis threatening the continuity of vital sectors in the country, including telecommunications and health.

Lack of diesel has forced owners of private electric generators to implement power rationing in many areas, leaving many basic services at risk of interruption.

Minister of Energy and Water Raymond Ghajar announced that the situation would improve as of Tuesday, noting that two ships would arrive this week and a third one next week to supply fuel to power stations.

On Monday, the Ogero communications company said that its services “may witness interruptions” in some areas if the owners of private generators stopped providing some generators and communication rooms with power.

Abdo Saadeh, the head of private generators’ owners, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the situation could get worse if the state did not provide diesel.

“The owners of generators are buying diesel from the black market at a very high price (LBP 27,000 the tank instead of LBP 14,000) and today they are no longer able to provide it even from this market,” he said.

With the increase in the power rationing hours, the Rafik Hariri Public Hospital announced that it had to adopt procedures and measures that contribute to rationalizing electricity consumption by 25 percent, by turning off the air conditioners in doctors’ offices, administrative rooms and in the corridors.

“These measures serve in the short term, but if the crisis persists, the hospital will face a real problem,” hospital sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

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