Nepal - Misdirected Potential by Nichole Sobecki
By special guest photographer Nichole Sobecki
Across Nepal, from rural villages to Kathmandu, most people are forced to live and work without light, despite the fact that Nepal is a nation with huge hydropower potential.
Depending on the season electricity can be available for a mere four hours a day in Nepal's capital city, and often not when one needs it. Rural electrification is much less predictable.
Children study by the light of candles, and shops are forced to close with the sun. Industries operate far below capacity, crippling a nation trying to emerge from the vicious cycle of poverty.
The acute lack of electricity is one of the least considered results of Nepal’s lack of political stability; the others being long-standing conflict, constant protest, acute fuel shortage and negative growth.
Over the past decade many rural Nepalese were forced into the cities by the war between the government and Maoists rebels. Now that a tentative peace is in place, however, the amalgamating effect of years of conflict continue to wear on the country’s people.
The resulting load shedding has been predicted for years, but the government lacked the organization or vision to solve the energy problem. Until they do, Nepal will continue to live in the dark.