Severe power and water shortages cripple Addis Ababa

Power outage hits while Hillary Clinton gives a speech at the African Union in Addis Ababa - Credit: Susan Walsh/NYT

September  25, 2013 — Since mid-June, severe power and water shortages have crippled Addis Ababa, leaving its residents and businesses to adjust without life's most basic necessities.

To conserve energy, the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation has been forced to ration power by cutting electricity to the city three days and even more at a time.

"There's no power, no running water, everything is a mess," said Addisu Selassie, a 36-year-old teacher from Addis Ababa. "We can not live like this. This is hell for me."

Many of its city residents have taken to social networking sites to air their frustrations with the governments mishandling of power and water supplies.

"Still getting worse! No electricity for days. Always dark. At least Woyannes [ruling regime] should have the decency to explain the problem." Said an anonymous Addis resident on Topix, a forum popular with Ethiopians. "But that is hard to do for arrogant morons who have nothing but contempt to the people."

Frustrated by the lack of power and running water, Eyob Zewdie, an Addis resident, took to Twitter to ask if this was an experiment on the city residents to see how they'd cope.

Sources say these outages are caused by years of mismanagement by the regime and that these prolonged power and water cuts will likely be the new norm for the city's three million inhabitants.