A group of villages in northern Lebanon has had no electricity for over three weeks due to the repeated theft of the power lines that feed them.
For the past 23 days, the villages of Hekr Al-Dahri, Simmaqiyi, Aarida, Knaysi, Talbibeh, and Sheikh Znad, in the Akkar Governorate, have been relying on candles and, when fuel is available, lanterns for illumination.
The power lines that supply these villages with electricity have been stolen four times in a row, Simmaqiyi’s Municipality President Bilal Shamaa told the National News Agency.
The power network’s passage through uninhabited lands is what makes it a target for the thieves who are depriving these villages of receiving electricity, Shamaa said.
In the first three times the cables were stolen in that area so far, electrical installation service BUS took it upon itself to replace them. This time, however, BUS does not have a sufficient supply of cables to replace them again.
The villages have been calling on Electricité du Liban to solve their problem for the past few weeks, but they have not received a response yet.
“The area is agricultural par excellence. All irrigation wells are suspended, the seasons are on the verge of collapse, all machines and equipment that run on electric energy are completely stopped, and there are no private generators to secure electricity for people,” Shamaa explained.
He warned that there are children, elderly, and sick people who need oxygen machines to survive, and their lives are now endangered because of the blackout.