Protest Reportedly Takes Place in Beirut Over Continuous Blackouts
14:32 GMT 10.01.2022 (Updated: 14:33 GMT 10.01.2022)
© -This picture taken on October 11, 2021 shows a dusk aerial view of cars driving past unlit buildings along the Charles Helou highway by the devastated port of Lebanon's capital Beirut, in darkness during a power outage.
BEIRUT (Sputnik) - A protest took place in front of the Lebanese Energy Ministry in Beirut due to ongoing power outages in various locations across the country, media reported on Monday.
According to the Lebanese broadcaster Al Jadeed, demonstrators tried to enter the building of the ministry due to a lack of electricity in Akkar, the northernmost governorate of Lebanon. Lebanese Energy Minister Walid Fayad reportedly appealed to the protesters by video, as he was not in the ministry at the time of the demonstration. The minister promised that the electricity would be evenly distributed between the regions of the country.
The current outage is related to a conflict around the power station in the Aaramoun settlement near Beirut. On Saturday, residents of the settlement tried to break into the station in protest over constant power outages. As a result, the entire power grid went out of service. Electricity was also temporarily cut off at the Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport.
The energy crisis has been going on in Lebanon for over 30 years. Amid severe economic meltdown, Beirut has not been able to provide fuel for power plants for over six months, leaving the country without electricity for up to 20-22 hours a day. In remote regions, such as Akkar, residents barely have any access to any state-produced electricity. The situation has created a black market for private power generators that fill the gap. However, due to the sharp increase in prices, the majority of the population is currently unable to pay bills for alternative sources of energy and is left without electricity.