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

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 30 or so years in the investment management industry, 2013 saw me turn my life up-side-down, making my way first to Nepal, then Bangladesh during that first ‘year away’. The year took me on a journey I did not expect, had me fall in love with Nepal and its people, and become inspired at the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) located in Bhainsepati - 2 hours east of Kathmandu in the Saanga foothills. Since 2014, I have returned to SIRC numerous times, working closely with the folks there in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes. In the past two years, my work in Nepal has expanded to the Bo M. Karlsson Foundation and the Spinal Cord Injured Network Nepal. In Bangladesh I marvelled at the strength and resilience of marginalized women who have the courage and audacity to break the rules and make a better life for themselves and their children through microfinance programs with BRAC. 2016-2017 saw me embark on a totally new experience in Sri Lanka, a place I never would have chosen to end up in. It’s the 40C+ heat, big humidity and tropical snakes & animals that scared me! But I ended up love love loving! my time there, working with predominantly Tamil small business owners in remote villages in the north and east of the country, trying their best to recover their businesses and the lives of their employees, after decades of a civil war. My time in Sri Lanka made me realize my hard-earned business skills and experience can really be put to good use! The work the BIZ+ team and I did there ended up earning me International Volunteer of the Year Award in December 2017, presented on Capitol Hill, Washington DC no less. I am currently home on Bowen Island, in the west coast of Canada, shoring up my finances before I head off to who knows where, for my next expert volunteer assignment. 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 2013-2014. 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!…

  2. Pingback: Loadshedding 2.0 | Bowen to Bangladesh

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