Military presence impedes electricity network repairs
SANA'A — Damaged transmission towers behind Yemen’s ongoing power cuts cannot be repaired until military units evacuate their vicinity, an official at the Ministry of Electricity has told the Yemen Times.
This year, the electric power transmission towers in Naqeel bin Ghailan and Bani Jarmooz in Nihm, 30 km northeast Sana’a were exposed to repeated attacks that have left them damaged. The regime and opposition have blamed each other for the damage.
Despite the new minister of electricity's promise two weeks ago to repair these and end Yemen’s power cuts within eight to ten days, blackouts have continued nationwide much to anger all Yemenis.
Abdul-Elah Al-Qurashi, the renewable energy resources consultant at the Ministry of Electricity told the Yemen Times that the towers cannot be repaired without the departure of Republican Guards military camps from the area.
Although lack of fuel and spare parts were also behind the delay, Al-Qurashi said that the Republican Guard’s ongoing presence in the area was the main problem.
Landmines have been left by the Republican Guard around some of the towers, and shelling is ongoing between them and tribesmen, he said.
"Unfortunately, when we repair one tower they [the Republican Guard] damage two towers,” he said. “The power outage problem is created on purpose."
Al-Qurashi suggested that new power stations and transmission towers be built in safer places, but acknowledged that this might take a long time.