by Murad Abdu
ADEN, Yemen, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- Repeated power outages continued to hit Yemeni southern port city of Aden for the sixth consecutive day, deteriorating the suffering of citizens.
The period of power blackouts exceeded 18 hours per day, leaving all the residential neighborhoods of Aden in total darkness. Many citizens in Aden were forced to look for alternative solutions to deal with the scorching heat.
Majed Talib, a student at Aden's university, said that "in recent days, the period of power blackouts increased to unacceptable levels, disrupting our daily activities."
An official of the country's state-owned electricity company told Xinhua that some of the power units in Aden stopped working, leading to the recent massive blackouts in the city.
He further clarified the reasons that the national electricity network is witnessing a severe lack of fuel supplies. "We lost more than 11000 megawatts of the whole electrical power capacity, which is 1000 megawatts."
"The recent demand for electricity in Aden reached 41000 megawatts and exceeded our current power capacity (1000 megawatts). The decrease caused by lack of fuel and other failures due to lack of maintenance," the source added.
Meanwhile, workers of some power stations started a general strike in protest against the collapse of the Yemeni currency rial and the skyrocketing prices of basic commodities.
Engineers and other workers of Aden's electricity refused to resume their work and demanded the government to raise their monthly salaries.
Citizens said that the absence of workers and engineers as a result of the general strike will increase the power outages in Aden and further complicate the issue.
"All the Yemeni employees need a pay raise because we are affected by the currency devaluation but organizing a strike and refusing to do our works is not a solution," said Mahmoud Ali, a primary school teacher based in Aden.
He said that "the electricity employees must respect the citizens and immediately lift their strike because they are hurting the ordinary people by doing so."
Local activists said that demonstrations will be staged in Aden to protest against the deterioration of services including water and electricity.
"Some of the sabotage elements are attempting to use the power outages as pretext to organize demonstrations and destabilize the situation in the city but that's isn't going to happen," said the source.
The government official reassured the citizens in Aden that the operations are underway to restore the network and connect the electricity generating stations.
The southern port city of Aden, where Yemen's government is temporarily based, has been suffering from frequent power outages in recent years, particularly during the scorching summer heat.
Lack of fuel and adequate maintenance for the state-owned power stations are prime reasons causing the electricity blackouts in Aden.
The impoverished Arab country has been locked into a civil war since the Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels overran much of the country militarily and seized all northern provinces, including capital Sanaa, in 2014.
Saudi Arabia with other Arab countries intervened militarily and began pounding the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa in March 2015 in response to a request from internationally-recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to protect Yemen and roll back Iran's influence.
The internal military conflict between the Houthis and the Saudi-backed Yemeni government recently entered its fourth year, aggravating the suffering of Yemenis and deepening the world's worst humanitarian crisis in the country.