Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Afghan capital in city-wide power outage after Taliban “forgot to pay for gas and electricity”

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Kabul has been under Taliban control since August, but it is not clear that the terrorist group figured out how to keep the electricity running after almost the entire city went dark

The Afghan capital Kabul is on electricity after the Taliban failed to pay for gas and electricity, local reports said.

Afghanistan imports all of its electricity from neighboring countries Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, the Sputnik news agency reported.

But only a third of the Central Asian country has access to electricity, according to the state energy agency DABS.

Local reports suggest that the Taliban took over the indebted state-owned energy company as soon as they arrived in Kabul this summer.

Still, they appear to have ignored the cash owed to suppliers in neighboring countries, which resulted in Uzbek suppliers turning off electricity in much of the country.

The state energy agency simply wrote: “The technical staff is working to solve this problem as soon as possible.”

It is estimated that DABS owes its local utilities $ 62 million (£ 45 million) in utility bills.

There are plans to slowly pay off the debt to keep the lights on in Kabul and other cities in Afghanistan, but utility companies appear to have flipped the switch without warning.

However, the effects of the blackout are more than just cosmetic.

Ex-DABS boss Daud Noorzai only two weeks after the Taliban takeover on 15.

He told the Wall Street Journal that if Afghanistan is unable to provide electricity to hospitals and major public transportation networks, there could be a humanitarian crisis.

Mr Noorzai said, “There will be a blackout and Afghanistan would go back to the dark ages when it comes to power and telecommunications.”

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EU diplomat Josep Borrell said over the weekend that Afghanistan was facing “a serious humanitarian crisis and socio-economic collapse”.

Neighboring Tajikstan, which supplies Afghanistan with electricity, is an opponent of Taliban rule and briefly protected the ousted ex-leader Ashraf Ghani.

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