USAID launches solar power project in Aden

Yemen has been witnessing widespread and frequent power outages with increasing cases of sabotage against electricity wires and towers. This is particularly true at the Marib station, which provides many Yemeni cities, including Sana’a, with large portions of power.

The $14,500 solar project in Aden came in line with the Activating Youth project, introduced by AMIDEAST. The project includes eight solar panels and eight batteries, which generate approximately 3,000 kilowatts.

The generated power will be used to provide electricity to Al-Rawda Sport Club in Al-Tawhai district and other schools in the same district, such as Al-Mulla and Khawr Maksr.

The project began in January of last year and will continue until December 2012 as one of the power projects aimed at contributing to Yemen’s development.

Dr. Saleh Sumei, the electricity minster, said, "Establishing such vital projects that provide society with a clean source of energy generation is very important.”

He hoped that such projects will target all governorates because they help support the youth abilities and improve their talents.

"Resolving the electricity problem will come soon,” Sumei said. “It will take two phases, particularly in Aden, Hodeida and the coastal areas in general. The coastal areas suffer a lot.”

He said that in the current phase, electricity equipment will be fixed in order to protect the power infrastructure from saboteurs.

The government hopes to alleviate power outage problems by purchasing electricity from the private sector. According to the minister, though, this will be expensive.

From 2006 to 2012, the government spent approximately $600 million on hired power.

Purchasing generators is a short term option which could provide 400 megawatts immediately, Sumei said.

He said 60 megawatts have already been promised for use in Aden. This purchased power for Aden is expected to start operating in the coming week.

Samid Al-Samei, an Aden local, said mosque preachers in Aden condemn the repetitive power outages in all Aden districts.

“The lack of electricity has become a nightmare that affects all of us,” he said.

Preachers called for the end of citizens’ suffering, indicating that they are fed up with empty promises.

“Locals would like to see tangible solutions in order to improve the situation and alleviate their suffering,” preachers in Aden said during Friday’s sermons.