The end of loadshedding??

Loadshedding – the act of cutting electricity to Nepalis for up to 14 hours per day – has been a daily occurrence for the past decade.

The impact on daily life is significant but at least the outage sticks to a schedule so with a little planning, you can ensure devices are juiced up, rice is cooked in the rice cooker and water for tea/coffee is kept hot in a thermos well before the outage kicks in.

During the outage, kids get their homework done via candle or flashlight which is not very good for their eyesight, and it’s rather ominous to travel through the streets in the pitch black when not everyone turns on their vehicle lights.

Photo credit: English for Students Blog

Photo credit: English for Students Blog

It’s also a challenge while walking to avoid falling down random holes in the road or losing your sense of direction and veering off into the ditch which acts as a quasi sewage system.  This is my greatest fear – falling into the ditch.

For businesses, it’s impossible to run your business effectively so having solar power (expensive to install) or a generator (expensive to run on diesel) is a must.  Or alternatively you slip the right person(s) a few rupees to guarantee delivery of electricity at the times you need it.

But in a way, I love when the electricity is out.  I get some practice with power outages living on a small island that is subjected to wind storms and as is currently the case, heavy dumps of snow that take down branches that in turn take down the power lines.  It sometimes takes a day or two for the truck & crew to make it to the island to reconnect everything, it all depends what the sea is doing at the same time.

My life is simple when in Nepal so not having electricity for me is not a trial.  I get to see the stars very clearly by night, and oh the stillness and quiet is just mesmerizing.  No invasive blue light from devices, just bliss.

This stunning photo of nighttime stars in the Himalayas was taken by Kuntal Joisher - first Vegan to summit Everest, 2016. I was on the same team as Kuntal in 2008, trekking to Pumori and Everest base camps.

This stunning photo of the night-time sky in the Himalayas was taken by my friend Kuntal Joisher.  Kuntal is the first Vegan to summit Everest, 2016. I have known Kuntal since 2008, where we first met in Nepal on a trek to Pumori and Everest base camps with Peak Freaks http://www.peakfreaks.com.

If you are interested in seeing more of Kuntal’s stunning photos, take a look here.

But for the past month or so, loadshedding in Nepal has ended and electricity is available pretty much 24/7.   How the heck did that happen you might ask??

There’s a bit of a “clean up” underway at Nepal’s Electricity Authority (NEA) with more transparent practices being introduced – a very good thing.  Read all about it in this article from the Nepali Times.

There may be hope for Nepal yet!

About Kate Coffey

After 25+ years in the investment management industry, I packed in my job and spent 2014 living and working in Nepal and Bangladesh, and visited some other places in between. It took me on a journey I did not expect, had me fall in love with Nepal and it's people, and become inspired at the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) located 2 hours east of Kathmandu in the Sanga foothills. Since 2014, I have continued my warm relationship with SIRC and worked closely with my friends there in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes to date. This blog initially started out as a travelogue of sorts to keep friends and family worldwide updated while I was off on my travels in 2014. Since then it has morphed into a life story of the many places I have lived and worked and of the wonderful people I have met along the way. I hope you enjoy.
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2 Responses to The end of loadshedding??

  1. SafeNEPAL says:

    Grand Design EXPOSED! Conspiracy behind load-shedding in Nepal. This is what I call investigative journalism. Bravo! nepalitimes.com/article/nation…

  2. Pingback: Loadshedding 2.0 | Bowen to Bangladesh

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