In Kabul, Waiting for Americans to Light the Way

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Regarding the May 1 front-page article "Power Grid in Iraq Far From Fixed":

I was stunned to think that people might be shocked by a lack of electricity in Iraq, while in Afghanistan electricity is still a privilege.

Afghanistan remains in a deep energy crisis. According to the Ministry of Energy and Water, not even 6 percent of Afghans have access to electricity. And even this 6 percent has only intermittent access.

The capital, which needs at least 500 megawatts daily, runs on 188 megawatts -- on a good day. Like Baghdad, Kabul relies on generators. The sidewalks of more prosperous neighborhoods are lined with generators. Additionally, every large organization in Kabul has a noisy generator. A mechanical hum can be heard throughout the capital.

As for the "once-widespread belief in Americans' technological superiority and power," Afghans have discovered that they will not be benefiting from that.

I wish the Iraqis luck, and I hope the American "experts" will not leave them in the dark as they have Afghans.


Senior Editor

Kabul Weekly

Kabul, Afghanistan

© 2005 The Washington Post Company