CAIRO – A new online initiative has been created to assist Egyptians in reporting and monitoring electricity cuts throughout the country.
The Kahrabtak.com website, which translates as “Your Electricity” hopes to give Egypt the ability to report any power outages in their area, as well as reporting violations or “unreasonable power usage,” including light poles being on during the daytime.
“Egypt has been suffering from power cuts … and Kahrabtak is hoping to help the citizens, not in necessarily finding a solution, but rather the source of the problem,” the new initiative said.
It is the same group of activists who established the Morsimeter.com website that monitors the president’s efforts and achievements during his first 100 days as Egypt’s elected leader.
“We are a bunch of young people, interested in technology and in the process of collecting and distributing information, without any political affiliation or direction,” Amr Sobhy, one of the team’s founding members, said.
The website, Facebook group, Twitter hashtag and application of Kahrabtak were launched on Aug. 12, as power shortages began to become a regular occurrence across Egypt.
As of last week, the group had over 1,000 members and it is gaining momentum as the electricity crisis continues to hit Egypt.
President Morsi has called for Egyptians to reduce their power use, staying in one room and reducing their air conditioner usage as a means of enabling electricity to be distributed across the country.
“Usually, we - as citizens - cannot evaluate and determine the source of a problem in our country. We know the electricity goes out, but we do not know if there is a pattern, or who is most affected by it, and such information is crucial in order to be able to deal with the situation,” Sobhy added.
“Maybe if we find a pattern, things will become clearer.”
Last week, Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil continued Morsi’s efforts to reduce power intake, telling families to help in solving the problem of power shortages by wearing “cotton clothes and sitting in one room.”
Separately, five Egyptian banks have extended loan to the tune of Egyptian £1.25 billion to set up a plant for production of ethylene, which has wide usage in the textile industry.
The new ethylene project to be established with an investment of $ 1.9 billion will create job opportunities for about 10,000 Egyptians, according to Petroleum Minister Osama Kamal.
The plant will use latest technology for production and will produce products that have not been produced in Egypt so far.
The loan agreement was signed in the presence of Prime Minister Hisham Qandil. – Agencies