Two main power plants in Lebanon had been switched off on Friday. It has plunged much of the country into a complete blackout. This shutdown took place due to the lack of fuel in two plants. It worsened the crisis where people received only hours of electricity a day. The lack of foreign currency has made it hard enough to pay all the overseas suppliers of energy.
The pharmacies have also gone on strike over the shortage in medicine due to failure to pay the foreign importers. The two biggest power stations of Lebanon are the Deir Ammar and Zahrani. These two together provide 40% of the electricity in the country. These two shut down on Friday.
Ships filled with gas oil have refused to offload the fuel before the transferring of the money to their owners, in the form of dollars.
In the city of Zahle, EDL asked residents to reduce their power consumption to the minimum. He said that “power supply has been cut across Lebanese territories indefinitely”.
The swathes of the country are also facing water rationing. The pumping stations are getting fuel from diesel and lacking the supplies they need for functioning. Lebanon has suffered from a severe economic crisis over the past 18 months. Its currency, the Lebanese pound, has collapsed in terms of recording lows.
Some of the local healthcare companies are running out of medicine which is essential for heart disease and cancer. The pharmacies have also closed their doors in protest of the shortage on Friday.
The association of the pharmacy owners has announced an open strike in Lebanon. Due to the failing economy, half of the population is living in poverty and promoting mass protest. They are demanding the removal of the political elite who has an accusation of corruption and negligence.
Power cuts are not so unusual in Lebanon. The country hasn’t experienced 24×7 electricity for decades. The state-generated power has been rationed. People fill the gaps by plugging in a parallel system of the private generators. Today it was not only just a gap. For the first time, the entire grid went offline.
The private generators became the source of power. But they were under pressure. They run on diesel which is very hard to find. However, they cannot replace state electricity. They have become very expensive, which is unaffordable for many people.