Something huge has happened here in Kathmandu! Since two months back we have full power.
We haven't really believed it would last, and honestly we still don't. Hopefully I will not jinx it by writing about it here.
Some background information is needed.
Since we moved here 5 years ago we have lived our lives around the load shedding.
During the summers we only had four hours scheduled power cuts, two hours in the morning and two in the evening, but during the cold, dark winter we had up to 16 hours and it was really, really horrible.
It was so horrible for us, spoiled Swedes, that we invested in a car battery and an inverter so we at least could recharge the phones and computers and have some light.
Let me explain the three most credible ones:
1. The Nepalese government sold most of the power to India, that has huge problems with the power in some districts, and we got the leftovers.
Thanks to the Himalayas and the rivers Nepal has a lot of fast running fresh water.
2. During the civil war between the government and the Maoists, 1996 - 2006, the Maoists bombed hydro power stations, so there was simply not enough to cover the need of electricity.
We heard about different projects carried out by foreign countries, for example Norway, that wanted to build new hydro power plants, but everything was stalled due to political decisions.
Many countries want to help Nepal, since Nepal is considered to be one of the poorest countries in the world.
3. Corrupt politicians got bribes from the battery companies.
Guess which one was the biggest issue?
The corrupt politicians, to no surprise really.
One day the new Minister of Energy declared, just like that, that from now on it would be power day and night, at least in Kathmandu.
There was enough power after all. They even had a full functioning power plant just standing there in case of emergency.
What amazes me the most is that the corrupt politicians don't seem to get any punishment and the Nepalese people just carry on like nothing has happened.
In Sweden we have an expression that you "tighten your fist in the pocket". That means that you don't show your anger or frustration. You keep it inside.
I'm not clear about the Nepalese people's reaction in this case. Are they angry inside or just happy and forgiving? Maybe a confusing combination of all available feelings?
I can tell you that I'm both happy and angry and I'd like to see the gangsters who did this behind bars for a long time.
The load shedding has created so much problems for people, especially for companies that had to think more about keeping the generators running than planning to grow and employ more people.
People who had to leave their families for years to go to the middle East to work like slaves.
Kali Gandaki hydro power plant.