- Title: Double bill: Summer heatwave and fuel shortages leave citizens reeling in MENA
- Date: 23rd August 2021
- Summary: KHARTOUM, SUDAN (FILE - JUNE 25, 2021) (REUTERS) (NIGHT SHOTS) STUDENT, SALMA MOATASEM, HOLDING CANDLE AND WALKING INTO ROOM / SITS DOWN TO START STUDYING CANDLE ON TABLE MOATASEM STUDYING UNDER CANDLELIGHT VARIOUS OF SUDANESE STUDENTS STUDYING USING CANDLELIGHT (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SUDANESE STUDENT, SALMA MOATASEM, SAYING: "I have an Arabic exam tomorrow and that's why I'm using candlelight to study because there is no electricity right now. These (power cuts) really impact students who would sometimes choose to wait until the power is back to study or do their readings. But that could cause them a problem because, in the end, they could not have reviewed everything and will go to their exams without having read enough. This is why I choose to study using candlelight."
- Embargoed: 6th September 2021 16:11
- Keywords: Blakouts Electricity Shortage Heat Wave Iraq Lebanon Libya Middle East North Africa Power Cuts Sudan
- Location: BEIRUT, LEBANON / KHARTOUM, SUDAN / BASRA AND BAGHDAD, IRAQ / MISRATA, LIBYA
- City: BEIRUT, LEBANON / KHARTOUM, SUDAN / BASRA AND BAGHDAD, IRAQ / MISRATA, LIBYA
- Country: Various
- Topics: Living/Lifestyle,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA002ERI3KGL
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: In July, when a heatwave tore through countries around the world causing wildfires and record high temperatures, the Middle East, a region already grappling with recurring electricity crises and where temperatures reached up to 55 degrees Celsius this year, was left with limited options.
Fuel or power shortages caused by economic and political instability in Libya, Iraq, Sudan, and Lebanon meant citizens not only had to deal with rising temperatures but also with finding alternatives to power generation to fuel their cars and homes.
In Sudan, students studying for end of year exams back in June had no other option than to use candlelight when power shortages were at their peak.
Libyans dealing with the heat wave cooled off in the Mediterranean as power cuts sometimes reached up to 18 hours a day and many couldn't afford a generator.
Iraq, where people often blame the government for failing to develop its own power grid, partly relies on energy imports from Iran. A period of reduced power supplies from Iran in July and an ongoing series of attacks on power lines by militants have compounded the electricity crisis this year.
Lebanon's multiple crises means that fuel oil used to power much of the country has also nearly run out, leading to lengthy blackouts taking their toll on civilians, businesses and hospitals.
According to a recent report by the United Nations' IPCC, temperature rise would still bring many problems, including food shortages, extreme heat, forest fires, sea level rise, a potential "refugee crisis" and negative impacts for the global economy and biodiversity.
As the world rushes to limit carbon emissions and achieve their climate goals, civilians in the MENA region just want to get through summer. Even as the heatwave has come and gone, parts of the region still suffer from blackouts.
"Every year we say this summer will be better, then the summer comes and it's worse than the last," said Mohammed Abbas who provides generator services in Baghdad.
(Production: Mohamed Noureldin, Ayman Sahely, Mohammed Aty, Haider Kadhim, Charlotte Bruneau, Seham Eloraby)
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