Feature: Yemenis turn to solar power as lifeline amid war

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-10 17:13:46|Editor: xuxin
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A man checks solar panels installed to power his water pump in Sanaa, Yemen, Dec. 8, 2019. Amid nearly five years of grinding war and electricity cut in Yemen, many Yemenis turn to solar power to keep lights on. (Photo by Mohammed Mohammed/Xinhua)

SANAA, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- Amid nearly five years of grinding war and electricity cut in Yemen, many Yemenis turn to solar power to keep lights on. The lights were so bright streaming in through the windows of houses in the neighborhoods of the historical capital Sanaa.

The lights of solar energy shine through the windows of houses to the streets of the historic capital Sanaa, and across the other cities and villages throughout the night.

"I depend on solar power since the electricity was cut to Sanaa. It has become a basic source of life as it lights up my house throughout the night," resident Hamzah Ali told Xinhua.

Solar business sector has expanded in Yemen since late 2014, when the war broke out and destroyed the national electricity supplies. Since then, hospitals, plants, companies and agricultural sector have depended widely on the solar energy as an alternative power due to fuel crisis and high prices of electricity generators.

"The demand on solar energy systems has been increasing because of the continuing fuel shortage," Ali al-Dhamari said from his shop in Sanaa selling solar panels and batteries.

"The residents have no options but to buy even at high prices," he added.

At the shop of al-Dhamari, a resident came to order solar panels and a battery to help his schoolchildren do their homework and study.

"I came here to buy a solar system because we have no electricity at home and these days my children need light to do their homework after school," Essam Mohamed, a father, said.

"I'm afraid the candle could cause fire," he said.

The civil war erupted in late 2014 when the Houthi group seized the capital Sanaa and forced the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi into exile. A Saudi-led military coalition intervened in March 2015 to support Hadi's government.

The war has killed tens of thousands of people, displaced 3 million and pushed the impoverished country to the brink of famine.

Farmers in Bani Hishaysh district, on the northeast outskirts of Sanaa, highlighted the effectiveness of solar energy system in the agricultural sector.

"After I got the solar energy, I became able to run the water pump to irrigate my grapes plants and preserve the crops," farmer Yahya Jamil explained.

However, many residents assure that solar energy, through experience of many, cannot cover all the people's living needs nor effectively replace the national electricity grid.

Yemenis will continue struggling to keep lights on, but as war raging on, nobody could predict when the national electricity will go back on.

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