Residents of war-affected areas in Amhara Region are unable to get electricity due to spike in price of fuel, which has been a source of power for several towns as authorities are unable to regain control over Tekeze Dam and Alamata Substation.
The war in the northern parts of the country has mainly affected electricity infrastructures, leading to an interruption of electricity for over a year in Amhara and Afar regions.
Last week, the Ethiopian Electric Power announced that areas such as Wolkayet, Humera, Sekota and Abala did not get electricity for over a year due to the ongoing war in the area.
On the other hand, Lalibela and its surrounding areas temporarily had electricity via fuel-based electric generators. However, the increasing price of fuel limited the regional state and stakeholders from providing the service with no interruption.
Melaku Taye, Corporate Communication Director at the Ethiopian Electric Utility told The Reporter that even if both the Electric Utility and Ethiopian Electric Power did not directly provide a generator and fuel, towns like Lalibela and its surroundings had temporary electricity with the support of the regional administration.
Since the Ethiopian Christmas is colorfully celebrated every year in Lalibela, the Amhara regional administration provided a generator and 200 liters of fuel per day, for the holiday period, according to the Communications Director. However, the service stopped due to the spike in price of fuel, leaving the towns in the dark.
One of the reasons that grid-based electric power is not provided in the region is because the area is not fully free from conflict and the inability of the authorities to regain control over Tekeze Dam and Alamata sub-stations, which are source of electricity for Lalibela and neighbouring towns in Wollo zone.
According to Melaku, to provide electricity to these areas, either a new substation needs to be built or peace has to be secured. The war has caused 1.12 billion birr in damage to power infrastructures administered by the Ethiopian Electric Utility.