Daraa residents disappointed of long power rationing hours

A woman and her daughter in their house in the countryside of Daraa relying on candles during the hours of electricity rationing - 2 December 2022 (Enab Baladi/Halim Muhammad)

A woman and her daughter in their house in the countryside of Daraa relying on candles during the hours of electricity rationing - 2 December 2022 (Enab Baladi/Halim Muhammad)

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Daraa – Halim Muhammad

Despite sending electrical equipment to lessen power outages in southern Daraa governorate by the regime’s government in November, the rationing hours increased to 21 per day (One hour of power for seven hours of outage consecutively) after a slight improvement during the summer season (one for five hours).

Logistical aid

On 19 November, a convoy of eight trucks arrived in Daraa governorate, carrying electrical equipment, transformers of various capacities, cables, and electric towers.

The Syrian Ministry of Electricity published, on its Facebook page, that this equipment is intended to strengthen the infrastructure and increase the stability of the electricity network.

The ministry quoted Louay Kharita, Daraa governor, as saying that this convoy would enhance the stability of electricity and speed up maintenance and rehabilitation work after “enhancing security and stability” in this province.

Wisal, 40, of Tal Shihab town in the western countryside of Daraa, told Enab Baladi that with the advent of winter, the population’s consumption of electricity increases as the energy panels no longer cover the residents’ need for lighting to cover their need for heating.

Residents use electricity to operate the water heater, and in light of the increase in rationing hours, they are forced to wait for the electricity connection for seven hours, according to Wisal.

For his part, Daraa-based Abdul Rahman, 50, told Enab Baladi that because of the long outage hours, all the water heaters work simultaneously, which imposes heavy burdens on the residents.

Abdul Rahman added that the great pressure on the electric current during the connection hour limits the heater’s ability to heat the water to the required temperature.

Doesn’t fill the need

Despite waiting for the arrival of electricity for long hours, the high pressure, especially due to a large number of heaters, increases the weakness of the current in many homes, which affects the electrical appliances, as some of them do not work with a weak current, and others break down due to frequent outages.

This is what forced Abdul Rahman to buy an electric regulator for 300 US dollars to regulate the electricity supply (1 USD is trading for 5,530 SYP).

He said that the regulator raises the electrical capacity from 120 to 220 amperes, which ensures the operation of all electrical tools.

Meanwhile, Hala, a resident of the city of Tafas, west of Daraa, believes that the large number of electric regulators draws larger amounts of electricity, which weakens the current for families who do not have such a regulator.

She added that the distance from the electric conversion centers weakens the current, especially after the random drawing for distances far from the conversion centers.

The suffering in the winter season was not limited to the long rationing and weak electricity, as the people suffer from frequent outages of the home distribution power networks and the high-voltage feeding networks.

A worker at the Daraa Electricity Directorate, who spoke on condition of anonymity for security reasons, said that wind speed and heavy rain increase breakdowns during the winter months.

He added that it is necessary to carry out comprehensive maintenance of the networks before the onset of winter, but the weak capabilities of the Directorate push it to repair necessary circuit breakdowns only.

According to the worker, the indiscriminate use of regulators and urban construction outside the development plans contributed to many malfunctions.

High-voltage networks

During the past years, the long hours of power rationing forced the population to rely on alternatives, such as “ampere” electricity generators, but the high prices and costs affected this option as well, as a result of the frequent rise in fuel and its reaching unprecedented levels.

On 16 May, the Minister of Electricity, Ghassan al-Zamil, told the local al-Watan newspaper that after activating the Iranian credit line, the problem of oil supplies will be resolved, and thus this will be reflected in reducing rationing hours.

Al-Zamil expected that the electric current would witness an improvement, but this did not happen despite the passage of six months since the activation of the Iranian credit line.

 

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