By Larbi Arbaoui
By Larbi Arbaoui
Morocco World News
Taroudant, May17, 2012
This morning I woke up with extra energy and enthusiasm to do my work and keep my commitments, so I had my breakfast early and hurried to my desk. After turning on my computer and placing a cup of coffee at the reach of my hand– a habit of mine, that of drinking either tea or coffee while doing some work– I started writing a report of last week’s extra-curricular activities that were done in my school. l needed to do this now, so as to get it in on time. But when the power suddenly went out, I went off the deep end and was left totally helpless. A frightening calm prevailed in my room, opposite of what I felt inside.
We learn to value the importance of things once we miss them, and this was a case in point. Even the buzz produced by my fridge, which I previously consider a nuisance, in its absence I remembered as somehow friendly. I discovered then that going back to those early days, when only limited facilities were at the disposal of our ancestors, must surely be a painful experience for the modern man.
This is not the first time to be interrupted by having the electricity cut off. What’s more irritating is that this happens without people receiving any warning from the electricity companies. This happens most frequently during summer time. The increased use of electrical devices such as fans, fridges and air conditioners–to name but a few–are the likely reason behind such annoying outages. However, this should not be an excuse to bar the electricity companies from providing good services, when their customers are paying an arm and a leg.
In some remote regions of Morocco when the electricity goes off, one’s life goes next. In few minutes following the cutoff of electricity, your mobile phone as well as your computer can no longer meet your needs because the network connection, which is needed in order for your devices to be useful, depends on electricity as well. One hour’s time after the cut is enough to finish off the water from the tap. And if you are not already familiar with this “local rule” you will be forced to go fetching water from far springs. So just a matter of a few hours is all you need to feel exiled and helpless.
People are cheesed off how the constant cuts of power come without any prior notice. This is especially true when one gets up early in the morning and heads to the bank to learn that, unfortunately, s/he can’t receive service because the power went off. The elderly and children have it even worse, since they are less able to stand the high degree of temperature, and life becomes hellish since they depend on the electronic devices that air-condition their homes, which now become as useless as a fifth wheel from the absence of electricity.
As everybody knows, summer is the best and preferred season for celebrating weddings in Morocco. Among the necessities that the wedding organisers have to consider is that of keeping an electrical generator ready for use at any time. People may risk losing significant amounts of meat and other precious food they’d once preserved in their fridges if electricity were to go off the whole day. Last summer, I was invited to the wedding of a friend. They had us sit in an open space since the weather was very hot inside. People liked the place and everybody was engaged in conversation with one another. To our hard luck, when food was served the power went off. The host was very embarrassed, even though he was free of blame, and he apologised to the invitees every now and then while the other family members were busy looking for an alternative way to help people see their plates well enough to allow them to eat. Some guys enjoyed their exceptional dinner thanks to the help of cell-phone flashlights!
The regular cuts of electricity are a source of discomfort for everybody. Who is responsible for the numerous damages and delays of services that have resulted from the abrupt cuts of electricity? People should start to consider seriously these unacceptable acts and also think of measures to force the electricity companies to back off from allowing so many of these sudden cuts of power.